Hellraiser Boxing News | Is Anthony Yarde The Real Deal?
George Storr takes a look at Anthony Yarde's performances and opposition, and asks, "Is Anthony Yarde The Real Deal?"
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by George Storr
After becoming the first person to stop Nikola Sjekloca and racking up his fourteenth win, the excitement is bubbling up again around Essex light heavyweight, Anthony ‘the Beast’ Yarde. Thirteen of his fourteen wins have come by stoppage and his explosive punch power is beyond doubt. However, it has been argued that Yarde has been ducking important domestic opponents. A proposed fight with Hosea Burton never got off the ground but could have been a mouth-watering affair.
While Yarde’s record is looking increasingly impressive on paper, the harsh reality is that he’s not faced a stiff test yet. Norbert Nemesapati (25-6) and Richard Baryani (18-1) offered belts and useful ranking boosts but not difficult rounds for ‘The Beast’. Nikola Sjekloca, the Montenegrin that Yarde stopped in his most recent bout, was much lauded as the step up that the Englishman needed.
A closer examination of Sjekloca’s record, though, shows us that all of his success came against questionable opposition in Eastern Europe. Going the distance with Arthur Abraham is perhaps the most commendable element of his record but that was in a challenge for the WBO Super Middleweight Title. As a light heavyweight Yarde was naturally the bigger man and by a long way.
The result was that Yarde finally had some punches thrown at him, but it wasn’t the test we were promised by BoxNation. Looking back further, Chris Hobbs could be seen as Yarde’s biggest test to date, despite his modest record. He was a game, resilient fighter and made the Essex man work to claim his Southern Area Title.
While we have no particular reason to doubt Yarde’s credentials or resilience, it would be nice to see them proven in a more evenly matched fight. His power is impressive but his highly muscled physique could present stamina problems were he to take on the likes of Hosea Burton or Frank Buglioni in a long, hard fight.
Equally the much maligned ‘Ajayi pads’ method employed by his trainer, Tunde Ajayi, has split opinion. Trainers and fighters alike have mocked the unique style of pad training but it remains to be seen whether the technique is a style over substance one.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Anthony Yarde, but it might be too soon for boxing fans to become wholly invested in the remarkable hype being generated around ‘The Beast’. While his knockout reel and remarkable physique have made him stand out so far, his boxing needs to be tested in a high intensity fight against good opposition.
The logical step could be for European champ Yarde to take on British champ Frank Buglioni. This match-up has been complicated by the promotional concerns involved, with Yarde on Frank Warren’s BoxNation label and his main rivals being Matchroom fighters. Frank Buglioni’s recent Twitter call out of Anthony Yarde could be a sign that the wheels are beginning to turn.
Here’s hoping Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren can do the deal because Yarde versus Buglioni would be a fantastic fight between two remarkable English fighters. Yarde may benefit from being tested properly before fighting Buglioni but seems eager to jump into the bout as soon as possible. It would certainly be the ultimate domestic-level proof of his credentials.
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Posted: 19th Dec 2017
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