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Anthony Yarde wants Lyndon Arthur rematch, fields criticism of trainer Tunde Ajayi

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Anthony Yarde’s call for a Lyndon Arthur rematch is fair, but he might need to make a big change whether he gets it or not.

Anthony Yarde v Lyndon Arthur - Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight Title Fight Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Anthony Yarde suffered an upset loss to Commonwealth light heavyweight champion Lyndon Arthur on Saturday, and was quite upset in the immediate aftermath, which was understandable. It was a close fight — Yarde won a narrow split decision, and Bad Left Hook actually had the fight even (114-114), for whatever that’s worth.

He remains convinced he deserved the win, though he’s not making a huge stink of things; he says he’d like a rematch with Arthur, which is fair enough.

“I watched the fight with sound and then again on mute,” he said. “I believe I won the fight at least 7-5 and I won the last round big. I felt I was winning a fight that was lacking a bit of entertainment so I pressed the last round to try and get the knockout. Congratulations to Lyndon and his team. I want this rematch.”

The 29-year-old Yarde (20-2, 19 KO) then asked for everyone to “comment (their) thoughts and opinions below,” and received a loOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOot of calls to get a new — some would more bluntly say “real” — trainer, the general belief that Tunde Ajayi simply cannot contribute at this level, which is really a high-end domestic level. Even promoter Frank Warren has said he will be speaking with the Yarde camp about things.

None of this is a fresh opinion; all of it comes over a year after Bob Arum said Yarde needed a new trainer following his loss to Sergey Kovalev in Russia. Arum, who does not have a stake in Yarde’s career, was impressed by Yarde’s physical tools, but said the younger fighter didn’t even know he was under-prepared by his team. And fans and pundits have offered the same opinion many times over the years, with the “unorthodox” approach to training camps believed to be destined to fail against tougher opponents (and so far, that’s been the case, as Yarde is 0-2 against his two best opponents).

It’s Anthony Yarde’s career and all, so maybe he doesn’t much care for the opinions of others, but that might actually be the best thing for him to remember: it’s Anthony Yarde’s career, not Tunde Ajayi’s, once the bell sounds and the punches are coming. Loyalty is commendable, but if Yarde wants to get to the next level and have an actual shot at success there, it’s clear to basically everyone that he needs a change in the corner.

As for the rematch shout, that’s totally understandable. It was a very close fight, it wouldn’t have been that hard to argue for Yarde nicking it over Arthur (18-0, 12 KO), and it’s not at all strange that Yarde would love a second crack at it and some redemption.