Boxing’s most reliable knockout artist meets a hard-hitting dynamo this afternoon (Sat., Jan. 28, 2023) when unified WBC/WBO/IBF Light Heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev, faces mandatory challenger, Anthony Yarde, inside Wembley Arena in London, England.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE coverage of today’s “Beterbiev vs. Yarde” main event below. The ESPN+ broadcast kicks off at 2 p.m. ET, with Beterbiev and Yarde likely to make the walk closer to 5:30 p.m. ET.
Despite a career plagued with injuries and promotional issues, Beterbiev has firmly established himself as one of the most fearsome punchers in the world, stopping all 18 of his professional opponents inside the distance. He first won the IBF title in 2017, violently stopped Oleksandr Gvozdyk for the WBC belt two years later, and added the WBO belt to his collection by mauling Joe Smith Jr. in 2021.
Now 38 years old, he’s got his sights set on an undisputed clash with Dmitry Bivol, but he’ll have to get through Yarde first. The Englishman appears to have fixed the inconsistency that’s long dogged him, notably thrashing Lyndon Arthur in four to avenge a shock upset defeat from 2020.
It’s a fight that guarantees fireworks for however long it lasts.
The card will also see Artem Dalakian defend his flyweight title against David Jimenez, plus Moses Itauma’s pro debut, Tommy Fletcher vs. Darryl Sharp, and amateur standout Karol Itauma vs. Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde — Beterbiev def. Yarde by TKO at 2:01 of Round Eight
Moses Itauma vs. Marcel Bode — Itauma def. Bode by KO at 0:23 of Round One
Tommy Fletcher vs. Darryl Sharp — Fletcher def. Sharp by referee decision (60-54)
Karol Itauma vs. Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna — Maderna def. Itauma by KO at 1:04 of Round Five
Artem Dalakian vs. David Jimenez — Dalakian def. Jimenez by unanimous decision (115-113 x2, 116-112)
WBC/WBO/IBF Light Heavyweight Championship: Artur Beterbiev vs Anthony Yarde
Round one: Beterbiev on the advance early. Yarde moving quite a bit, feinting and switching direction as Beterbiev marches forward. Counter hook by Yarde, then a right hand that just splits the guard. Another slapping counter hook by Yarde, Halfway through. Good 2-3 stings Beterbiev for a moment, prompting him to fire a chopping right in return. Counter jab from Beterbiev, then a lead hook on the ropes. Check hook from Yarde again. Beterbiev pressing forward, looking for the straight right. Beterbiev lands two to the body and comes back with a hard hook. 10-9 Yarde.
Round two: Yarde backs him off with a 2-1. Really looking for the check hook. Lead hook by Beterbiev, clinch soon after. Double hook from Yarde to answer a jab. More pressure from Beterbiev, who clubs Yarde with a 1-2 on the ropes. Beterbiev lets loose a broadside as Yarde tries to punch his way free halfway through the round. Beterbiev starting to get him to the corner. Nice lead uppercut by Yarde, then on the counter as he eats a jab. Low-high lefts from Beterbiev. Yarde 2-3. Yarde hops in, eats a tight combo. Good counter right by Beterbiev, who absorbs a hook and gets clinched before the bell. 10-9 Beterbiev, 19-19.
Round three: Yarde having to fight off the ropes. Good exchanges. Brief pause to give Yarde his mouthpiece back. Beterbiev digs a right to the body that knocks Yarde off-balance. Good jabs from the champ. Yarde looking to keep him at a distance. Halfway through. Trading jabs. Yarde digs a two-piece downstairs, eats some bludgeoning jabs in return. Nice counter left from Beterbiev as Yarde opens up. Beterbiev slowly taking over the fight; Yarde’s moving and punching well, but Beterbiev is getting used to him. Yarde goes to the body, eats a big hook upstairs. 10-9, 29-28 Beterbiev.
Round four: Beterbiev landing some heavy power to start. Huge 1-2 and Yarde’s legs start to go. Slugging it out in the corner. Yarde manages to punch his way off the ropes. Counter right, clinch. Halfway through. Beterbiev finding the mark with 1s and 2s. Good body work. Yarde’s still getting in his licks, including a good left hook that knocks Beterbiev back. As Yarde tries to capitalize, he walks into a heavy right hand that lets Beterbiev retake the momentum. Jab exchange. Counter uppercut from Yarde. Beterbiev answers to the body, backs away from a combo. Heavy uppercut. 10-9, 39-37 Beterbiev.
Round five: Yarde opens with a right to the body, Beterbiev knocks his mouthpiece out again. They trade rights, after which Beterbiev cracks him with a jab. Another jab and 2-3 behind it. Yarde 1-2, walks into a jab. Overhand right by Beterbiev. Yarde to the body, jabs from Beterbiev in return. Clinch halfway through. Beterbiev to the body. Check hook by Yarde, then a huge right cross that definitely stings Beterbiev. Yarde opening up, lands well to the body. Good shots in the corner. 1-2 from Beterbiev in return, then a barrage in the corner. What a round. 10-9 Yarde, 48-47 Beterbiev.
Round six: Lead right from Beterbiev. Lengthy series of jabs. Yarde trying to catch-and-pitch. High-low goes Yarde. Clinch. Another clinch. Counter right from Yarde halfway through. Jab exchange. Beterbiev’s are the heavier. Now Beterbiev’s cut as well. Yarde the busier of the two this round. Big swings from the champ at the bell. 10-9 Yarde, 57-57.
Round seven: Yarde seizing the early initiative. Beterbiev seems to have lowered his output. Good shots from Yarde on the ropes. Clinch. Solid body work. Not a lot coming back from Beterbiev. He overextends, has to tie up. Check hook lands for him as Yarde continues to push forward. Good exchanges in the center and it’s a 1-2 from Yarde that does the damage. Again Beterbiev spins him around in the corner and tees off. Lengthy barrage from Beterbiev as Yarde slugs it out with him. Sneaky uppercut from Yarde, who tries to go back to the well. Beterbiev comes back with heavy lefts. 10-9, 67-66 Beterbiev.
Round eight: Hard lead right by Beterbiev, clinch. The ref finally tucks Yarde’s stupid groin protector back to a reasonable height. Stiff Beterbiev jab. Combos from Yarde in the center. Lead right. Beterbiev not throwing many power shots but keeping pace with just his jab. Halfway through. Yarde leans down for a body shot and Beterbiev blasts him with a chopping right that knocks him loopy before another big overhand sends him to his knees. He makes it up, but as Beterbiev hammers him with more rights, Yarde’s trainer calls it.
Final result: Beterbiev def. Yarde by TKO
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