Anthony Yarde remained on course for a clash with Commonwealth Light-Heavyweight champion, Lyndon Arthur with a sixth round stoppage win over the brave Dec Spelman at York Hall on Saturday.
Yarde (20-1, 19 KOs) unleashed a flurry of punches in the sixth round, dropping Spelman (16-5, 8 KOs) with a right hand, with the referee waving off the contest, despite the Scunthorpe man’s appeals, who was stopped for the first time in his professional career.
Yarde began by studying his opponent, while Spelman, who was defeated on points by Arthur just seven weeks ago at the BT Sport Studios was the busier man having small pockets of success.
Former world title challenger, Yarde continued his relaxed start into the second, although his foe doubled up on his jab, making it difficult for him to counter.
The Londoner started to up his work rate in round three, with a left hook and an uppercut finding the mark.
The 29-year-old’s shots were becoming heavier as the rounds progressed, but Spelman wasn’t allowing himself to be dominated and had a good fifth round.
‘The Beast From The East’ finally unloaded in the sixth with meaty body shots, and when he switched to the head with several sharp right hands, he dropped the former English champion, as he turned away in discomfort.
Referee Michael Alexander took up the count, but stopped the bout when ‘Kid Nytro’ looked ok to continue.
Naturally, Spelman voiced his displeasure at the decision, but in truth, it possibly saved him from further punishment.
Yarde stated he is well prepared to take on Arthur next, with the fight possibly falling on the undercard of Daniel Dubois’ highly-anticipated showdown with Joe Joyce.
“I’m ready to go whenever,” Yarde told BT Sport post-fight.
“With the Coronavirus going on, we’re not sure when that will be, but I’ll stay in the gym and I’ll be ready.”
The most anticipated contest on the bill was the British Middleweight title eliminator with Mark Heffron and Denzel Bentley fighting out a ten round unanimous draw.
The two exchanged stiff shots in the first round and it looked a case of who could manage the timing of their punches first would win the day.
The second saw Bentley (13-0-1, 11 KOs) score a knockdown, timing a straight left hand from the southpaw stance, catching Heffron (25-1-1, 19 KOs) flat footed and dropping him backwards to the canvas.
The former British title challenger wasn’t hurt, and easily saw out the count and the round.
This setback caused Heffron to go on the attack in the third, but Bentley again looked dangerous on the counter, with another left hook finding the mark.
Heffron was trying to close the ring off, and caught the Battersea native several times, while trapping him in the corner in round five.
It was very much about what you liked, with Heffron walking Bentley down with the 25-year-old boxing to good effect by creating angles and using his feet well.
‘Kid Dynamite’ had Bentley buzzed in the ninth from a right hook and also landed a big right later on in the round as he grew further in confidence.
‘2 Sharp’ had a much better final round, but the fight went to the cards where the result was far from a formality.
All three judges scored the contest identically, in an unusual unanimous 95-95 draw, as the pair couldn’t be separated.
The vacant IBF European Welterweight title was claimed by current English champion Ekow Essuman (14-0, 5 KOs), with the Nottingham native taking a ten round points win over Cedrick Peynaud (8-8-3, 4 KOs).
It was routine stuff from the ’The Engine’, dominating in the main with a good selection of shots without ever seriously hurting the Frenchman.
Scores of 100-90, 98-93 and 98-92 reflected the difference between the pair and handed Essuman a first victory since resigning with Frank Warren in May.
There was a huge upset in the show opener at Lightweight, where Mohammad Bilal Ali (4-1, 1 KOs) lost his unbeaten record in a four round points loss to Ed Harrison, who moves to 2-4.
Ali, Yarde’s stablemate, was docked a point for excessive holding in the third round.
There was a monumental mistake in the announcement of the result though, as MC Thomas Treiber mistakenly announced Ali as the victor.
Thankfully, the confusion was cleared, as Harrison took a 39-37 win on referee Marcus McDonnell’s card.
At Super-Welterweight, Joshua Frankham (1-0) made a successful debut, taking a 40-36 win over experienced journeyman Kevin McCauley (15-208-12), who was taking part in his 235th professional fight.
Amin Jahanzeb (8-0,2 KOs) maintained his unbeaten record with a 60-54 points win over six rounds against Jamie Quinn at Featherweight, registering his first victory since signing a promotional deal with Frank Warren in May.