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19 MARCH 2018

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Yarde And Dubois Victorious At York Hall. Clark Stuns Barrett

By Steven Bateson


Anthony Yarde took out the game Tony Averlant in seven rounds at York Hall on Saturday night, defending his WBO European Light Heavyweight Championship.


Yarde was on the front line from the get go, stalking Averlant, and letting his punches go to head and body whenever his opponent backed up to the ropes. Yarde showed patience, never throwing recklessly, but the openings were there as Averlant remained far too upright and presented a willing target to the big looping right hands that were coming his way.


Averlant’s face was reddened and marked as early as round two, even his guard couldn’t protect him from the bruising, but he showed his toughness to soak up the pressure and start firing back shots of his own. The Frenchmen had success in the second stanzas with long right hands but was soon on the backfoot again in round three as Yarde pressed him back with clubbing punches, drawing bloody from the nose of Averlant.


There were holes in Yarde’s defense, something that became apparent in his last fight, and he was on the receiving end of a fair few left jab, long right combinations from Averlant. Had the Frenchman carried more power in his shots and he may just have posed a very real threat to Yarde’s undefeated record.


It was clear, however, that Averlant did not have the power to hurt Yarde and soon he was nothing more than prey to the predator once more. Yarde was smelling blood in the water and he willed Averlant forward in round six, allowing the Frenchmen to work away on the ropes, before uncorking a brutal left hook to the body that crumpled him to the deck. Averlant’s bravery shone through and he got back to his feet but another body blow had him on the floor once more, it was now only a matter of time.


Averlant did get through round number six but he was nothing more than a battered, bloody, punchbag in the seventh as Yarde displayed ruthless killer instinct to follow him around the ring, drilling him with heavy and hurtful punches. At the end of the stanza Averlant’s corner had seen enough and withdrew their fighter, sparing him any more punishment.


It was a step up for Yarde and his punch power and athleticism were on point as usual although his defense certainly needs work. British honours should be on the agenda for 2018, the winner of Frank Buglioni-Callum Johnson should be next.


Daniel Dubois successfully defended his Southern Area Heavyweight Championship with another knockout, this time demolishing DL Jones in three rounds.


Dubois settled well behind his jab and stunned Jones with a left hook in round one. Jones’ gameplan was to spoil and he engaged Dubois in a clinch any time the youngster got within grabbing distance. Dubois was back on the front foot in the second and an uppercut stiffened the legs of Jones but the Kent man was displaying impressive survival instincts if nothing else.


Dubois looked almost bored in the early rounds and the awkwardness of his opponent was stopping him from displaying his full potential but he adjusted to the style of Jones and took control. Dubois poured the pressure on in round three and had Jones up against the ropes after a solid right. Jones tried to stand his ground but was offering nothing in response as Dubois began to tee off, huge right hooks, straights and uppercuts were rocking Jones’ head back and he dropped to his knees just as the referee was jumping to his aid.


Dubois may have only had seven fights and there is still plenty of learning to be done but his level of competition has to improve. There is only so long you can listen to "experts" wax lyrical about the prospect of Dubois before he is tested, that time has to come in the near future. Nathan Gorman or Nick Webb are obvious opponents for Dubois in the coming months and will test him far beyond what he is being put up against momentarily.


Nathan Gorman added a quickfire knockout to his ledger as he demolished France’s Morgan Dessaux in two rounds. Gorman showed good boxing skills early in the first before three left hooks around the guard dropped the Frenchmen to his knees. Dessaux beat the count and showed toughness to survive another onslaught before the end the round but the writing was on the wall.


Dessaux was clearly aware that he was in trouble so came out firing in round two but was soon under fire once more. Gorman was relentless with his assault and referee Steve Grey took pity on Dessaux, waving it off before more damage could be inflicted.


It was a very simple evening for Gorman (now 12-0 with 10 KO’s) but he was added to the bill at late notice so there cannot be too many complaints although he has to be stepped up now. There should be English and British titles in the offing for Gorman, Nick Webb and Daniel Dubois could be on the radar for the Ricky Hatton trained fighter.


Ronny Clark produced a sensational performance to upset Zelfa Barrett via majority decision and win the vacant IBF European Super Featherweight title.


After a slow opening round it was Clark who went onto the front foot, attempting to force the pace, whilst Barrett manoeuvred the ring looking to pick the more precise and eye catching punches. Barrett was starting to look for body blows, some straying low, but could land nothing noteworthy that was able to stop Clark in his tracks or prevent him from constantly pouring forward. Clark may not have been scoring many telling blows of his own but he was giving off the impression that he was the aggressor, for some judges that is more than enough to swing close rounds and there were plenty of those in this fight.


Barrett started to find range in round five, a neat left hook around the guard of Clark, and then in round six it seemed he was seizing control until a lapse in defense allowed Clark nail a straight left before detonating a thunderous right uppercut right through the guard that put the Manchester prospect on the deck. Barrett was all at sea but managed to clamber back to his feet before displaying excellent footwork to avoid the onslaught of Clark from there on out. Clark pushed his opponent all around the ring looking to end the contest and spring the upset but he just could not land that one clean connection that he needed.


Barrett was back on his boxing from round seven and targeting the body once more, the energy levels of Clark depleted slightly from the barrage of round six, but he could not budge the Dundee fighter.


The fight was clearly in the balance now and Clark continued to be the front foot fighter as he pressed Barrett for every second of every round whilst Barrett attempted to stand his ground now and leave his own impression. The rounds ebbed and flowed and then in round eleven an all out war broke out as both men landed clean and vicious, abandoning defense as they planted their feet and swung for the hills.


For most at ringside the twelfth and final round would crown the winner of the fight and both men came out determined to have their hand raised in victory. Earlier in the fight neither man was throwing or landing enough but neither was having trouble finding the target now, a left hook from Clark almost sending Barrett’s mouthpiece flying out for the third time in the fight. Barrett’s nose was bloody and his eyes swollen but he stuck in there and continued to throw leather with the immovable Scotsman right up until the final bell.


Clark was supposed to be a stepping stone opponent for Barrett before he moved up to British level but nobody passed on the script to the Dundee man. It was a terrific performance from Clark who showed tremendous determination throughout, he never allowed Barrett to settle into the fight and was the rightful winner of the contest. For Barrett there will need to be a lot of work done if he wants to come back from this, domestically the Super Featherweight division is stacked and there is plenty of rivals who will be moving on ahead of him unless he uses this as a lesson learned. At 24 he has plenty of time ahead of him to rebuild, time will tell how he and his team utilise this setback.


Scorecards read: 114-114, 116-111, 116-111 (a little wide but right result)


Results so far:


It is twelve wins from twelve for Archie Sharp as he dispatched Ivan Ruiz Morote in the seventh round of their scheduled eight. Sharp (now 12-0 with 7 KO’s) is a Super Featherweight to watch and is likely heading for title bouts within the next year.


Boy Jones Jnr continued to rebuild after last year’s loss to Craig Poxton with an encouraging eight round decision over Nicaraguan Reynaldo Mora. Mora presents a tough night for many upstarts but Jones handled him with relative ease and was always in control. Jones (15-1-1 with 8 KO’s) will be looking to get back into Area and English title contention later this year.


Hamzah Sheeraz was made to work hard for his four round win over Christian Gomez in a 154lb bout. Sheeraz has plenty of admirers but his Spanish foe, who has shared the ring with many prospects, pushed him all of the way. Sheeraz will have learned a great deal from this workout and will need to step it up as his opposition improves. Scorecard read: 39-38


Harvey Horn was victorious over four rounds against Patrik Bartos. Horn (now 2-0 with 1 KO) is a highly touted Bantamweight prospect and cantered to the win over the rugged Czech. Scorecard read: 40-37


Umar Sadiq (2-0) opened the show and extended his undefeated record with a four round points victory over Portugal’s Yailton Neves in a 168lb contest. Ilford’s Sadiq dropped his foe in round one and then boxed his way to a comfortable decision. Scorecard read: 40-35

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