Great Britain

Anthony Yarde stunned as Lyndon Arthur edges out British light-heavyweight fight on split-decision

LYNDON ARTHUR left Anthony Yarde stunned as he emerged victorious in their domestic light-heavyweight fight by split-decision.

The cagey and tactical affair went right down to the wire with only a single point separating the pair.

Arthur bossed the opening stages with his classy and expertly timed jab, which left Yarde struggling to close the gap.

The bookies' pre-fight favourite upped his product down the stretch but eventually left it too little too late.

After the win, Arthur, 29 said: "I thought it was close.

"If the points would've went on his side, I wouldn't have said, 'That was a robbery'.

"But it went to me, so I'm not going to say that either."

Yarde, 29, responded: "I'll be honest with you. Lyndon's not out here lying to nobody. There were parts where it was a bit close.

"But if you look at who landed the clean, effective punches - the punches he landed were jabs, I landed my own jabs.

"This is boxing, you're not going to go out there and be reckless.

"From what I know that happened in the ring, I landed cleaner, I was pressing the whole fight.

"This sums up 2020 for me anyway, I'll go back and watch the fight, congratulations bro, it's Lions In The Camp, I've got a strong mentality.

"I personally and strongly feel that was a robbery. I'll be honest, I don't like to scream the word robbery but I feel like I won the fight."

The opening round provided little action with more feints than punches thrown.

Arthur then established his jab in rounds two and three, and despite Yarde walking forward, he failed to let his hands go.

In the fourth, Yarde finally found home with his right hand, but did not follow up, as his opponent sat back and avoided further damage.

Arthur got back to his jab in round five to bring the pace of the fight down to a level that suited him.

Starting to sense he needed to make his mark, Yarde came out fast in the sixth and again landed with a right hand over the top.

It proved enough to win the round, but nothing else of note landed.

Yarde kept up the pressure going into the second half of the fight, touching Arthur with the odd jab and right to the body.

But Arthur's superior jab thrown from the hip was the more eye-catching punch.

In round eight, for the first time in the bout, Manchester's Commonwealth champion finally threw, and landed, his right hand.

Yarde responded by walking forward, picking up the tempo but was just short with his own rear hand.

He kept up the pressure in the ninth and tenth, but Arthur's jab was again finding home, making the action hard to score.

In the 11th round, Yarde managed to close the distance, landing short body shots, but he took a right hand for his troubles.

As the Londoner got on the inside, he almost landed with a combination but his work was just smothered by Arthur.

As the final bell sounded both men came out believing they had to win it to seal the deal.

And Yarde came ever so close - like was the case against Sergey Kovalev last year - to closing the show in dramatic fashion.

He rocked Arthur with a chopping right hand as they came out of a clinch, but could not find the finishing blow.

Yarde ended the round and fight on top - but the judges' divided verdict proved it was left too late.

Arthur offered his rival his respect and a rematch, something promoter Frank Warren plans to follow up with.

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