It is almost a year to the day since Lyndon Arthur jabbed and boxed his way to a split decision victory over Anthony Yarde to announce himself as the man to beat on the British light heavyweight scene. Despite an injury to his right arm, the unbeaten Mancunian rose to the occasion and boxed with poise to frustrate and outscore the former world title challenger from London but rather than settling the argument as to who the better man was, the fight has only intensified the rivalry. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.
After months of negotiations, this weekend Arthur and Yarde will meet again. This time London’s Copperbox Arena will be full and the eerie silence the pair fought in last December will be replaced by a real big fight atmosphere. But will anything else change?
A rematch seemed inevitable from the moment the split decision in Arthur’s favour was announced. Not only because it was written into the contract but because the tense struggle caused so much debate. Would Arthur have had an even easier time if he had had full use of his damaged right arm? Would the result have been different if Yarde had opened up and shown more aggression earlier in the fight? Will Arthur’s trainer – Pat Barrett – always be a step ahead of the man in Yarde’s corner, Tunde Ajayi? Does Yarde possesses the boxing ability to switch plans if Arthur’s jab is on point once again?
Former WBO cruiserweight champion, Enzo Maccarinelli, also won the very same Commonwealth light heavyweight title that Arthur will be defending this weekend. Andy Clarke will be commentating on the fight from ringside and Travis Jay – comedian and host of Undefeated Podcast – has been heavily invested in the whole Arthur – Yarde saga since the beginning.
Maybe they can shed some light on what will happen.
32Red : Who will have learned more from the first fight?
ANDY: I think potentially Yarde could have learned more from the first fight – I think there was more for him to learn – but I think Lyndon Arthur might actually be the one who has learned more and that has to be a concern if you’re an Anthony Yarde supporter. I think there were so many things Yarde and his team could have taken from that first fight but from some of the things I’ve heard from him and Tunde Ajayi since, I’m not sure the lessons have been learned. We’ll find out on the night but personally I think Arthur will have learned more.
ENZO: I think Anthony Yarde will have learned more. I think he took too long to get started and he let Lyndon Arthur build up too much of a lead before he really started to get going. I think Yarde will know that he has to try and start a bit quicker.
TRAVIS: I think Yarde and his team will have learned more. Yarde allowed the pace to suit Arthur in a fencing contest. He didn’t seem to play to his strengths and I put that down to what felt like a lack of urgency in the corner. They won’t let that happen twice. The final round was very telling as to what things could look like if he imposes himself. Let’s go back to Fury vs Wilder 1, Fury gets off the canvas and takes it to Wilder. He figured out the puzzle in the 12th and in the next fight it was a bulldozing.
32Red: The first fight was the biggest night of Arthur’s career and he had to contend with the injury to his right arm whilst Yarde seemed lost at times and underperformed. Who has more room for improvement this weekend?
ANDY: Yarde has got more room to improve. Presumably Arthur will be able to throw that right hand more than he did in the first fight and whilst that obviously does give him room for improvement, it was a good performance from him first time around. I think Yarde could make a lot of adjustments and a lot of improvements. There is definitely room there. If they can manage to do that then we could see a different Anthony Yarde this time.
ENZO: I think they both have room for improvement. Again, Yarde started slow and I think he underestimated Arthur. I think he thought he was going to go in there and blow him away but he just couldn’t get past that jab. He had significant trouble trying to get past it in fact. Arthur on the other hand boxed well and he has a good trainer in Pat Barrett. It was his biggest stage and he was carrying an injury. He predominantly won on the jab. There weren’t many right hands but he showed in his last fight that he can put a bit of venom in it when he does throw it. I think the two of them can improve.
TRAVIS: I rate Arthur’s jab very highly but from his other showings, I’m not impressed by the rest of his arsenal. So for me, the injury may have been a blessing because it made him laser focus on his amazing jab. Now he’s saying ‘he’s got 2 hands’ I’m thinking he’ll open himself up for a lot more risk if he tries to mix it up too much. Yarde isn’t chinny in my view and Arthur isn’t that powerful so the 12 round fencing match suits Arthur more than anything else. We can’t ignore what Yarde was dealing with on a personal level going into that fight. It’s not an excuse but it is also a fact that dealing with loss of a family member is very intense, let alone three. That aside, Yarde has to figure out a way around the jab. Once he does I see him having success and I think with urgency he gets to him. So I believe I say Yarde has more room to level up on what we saw in the first bout.
32Red : The big question. Who wins and how?
ANDY: I think Arthur wins again and I think possibly he does it more clearly this time. I thought he won the first fight. I thought it was close but I thought he deservedly got it on points. As I said earlier, I’m not entirely convinced that Yarde and his team will have learned the lessons that they needed to from the first fight. if they haven’t, I think that Arthur – not carrying that injury – can win this second fight more convincingly. I would still say it would be by decision but maybe quite wide.
ENZO: I think Arthur wins again and it wouldn’t surprise me if he got a stoppage. I think he’ll win on points but I think Yarde is gonna come out a bit faster and he’ll come out aggressively and he might leave himself open a bit. I think it’s gonna be a good fight and I’m looking forward to it.
TRAVIS: I’m going with a Yarde by middle round stoppage. I don’t believe Yarde wants to hear from any judges on Saturday night. It’s going to be very exciting!