Artur Beterbiev stopped Anthony Yarde in the eighth round of a proper championship slugfest today in London, retaining his WBC, IBF, and WBO light heavyweight titles and keeping his 19-fight stoppage streak alive.
The official time of the stoppage was 2:08 of round eight. Yarde had been down just before, got back to his feet, and his corner stopped the fight when Beterbiev pounced for the follow-up flurry.
Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KO) got a stern test from Yarde (23-3, 22 KO), who absolutely looked better than he ever has, giving the veteran destroyer plenty to think about with his movement, hand speed, and plenty of his own power.
But in the end it was the savvy and craft of Beterbiev — along with his crushing, still inevitable power — that saw him through and set him up, potentially, for an undisputed championship fight this year with Dmitry Bivol. That’s no guarantee, but it remains on the table now with Beterbiev retaining again.
However you look at this outcome, it was a great fight, and both of these guys have plenty to be proud of with their performances. Yarde loses nothing reputation-wise; if anything, he gains and solidifies himself as a real light heavyweight contender. And Beterbiev marches on as he has throughout his pro career, still a Terminator-like presence in the sport at age 38.
Beterbiev vs Yarde highlights
Artem Dalakian UD-12 David Jimenez
Official scores were 115-113, 115-113, and 116-112 for Dalakian, who retains his WBA flyweight title. I had it 115-113 for Jimenez. It was a close fight. The ESPN commentary from Tim Bradley and Andre Ward was incredibly biased, as they created a narrative while harping on the supposed “narrative” of judges, and then when proven wrong, decided the judges had done a big robbery.
Again, scored the fight for Jimenez, but very few of these rounds were clear either way. It eventually became bizarre how much they were digging in on a strange idea that Jimenez (12-1, 9 KO) was somehow dominating this fight, and that Dalakian (22-0, 15 KO) was doing nothing of value. Ward claimed Dalakian “didn’t show up” as they went on and on about this being a miscarriage of justice.
Now, it’s possible that Ward and Bradley — who went more and more along with Ward’s train of thought as the fight wore on — were just bored. This was not a good fight and nothing exciting happened.
Ezequiel Maderna KO-5 Karol Itauma
An absolute disaster of a night for Itauma (9-1, 7 KO), a light heavyweight prospect who was moving up the ladder and seen as one of Queensberry’s top young fighters. He just couldn’t get out of the way of Maderna’s right hands all night, and then the Argentine veteran caught him and knocked him out at 1:04 of round five.
Maderna (29-10, 19 KO) just bought himself a good handful more solid paydays with this win, as it’s the best one the 36-year-old has maybe ever had in his career. He’s fought and lost to a lot of good fighters, but he was a huge (+1600) underdog here, and he didn’t just kinda fluke win this, he had Itauma’s number from the get-go.
This is a big career gut-check for Itauma, who at 22 will have to go back to the drawing board. His defense was terribly leaky, Maderna wasn’t doing anything special, he just got the young man’s timing and kept doing the same thing that worked, and Itauma never had an answer for it. Itauma’s very young, it’s not the end of the road, but it’s a major question raised, and he’ll have to reset and work back from here. This was not expected, he was -5000 coming into this fight.
More highlights and results
- Moses Itauma KO-1 Marcel Bode: 23 seconds. Pro debut for heavyweight Itauma, who at 18 was following his brother Karol getting trounced in an upset earlier in the evening. There’s a lot of hype around Moses; not, like, CRAZY amounts, but the early word is strong for the young man. Bode (2-2, 2 KO) offered no resistance.
- Tommy Fletcher PTS-6 Darryl Sharp: Fletcher, a 21-year-old cruiserweight prospect, got the referee’s card of 60-54. Sharp (7-97-1, 1 KO) did his job as the journeyman, he made the kid earn the rounds, brought some energy to it all, and kept himself in shape for his next date, which currently is March 18 at York Hall against Malik Kareem on an Alan Budgen-promoted card.