Last weekend, Saturday the 24th of August in the east, in Chelyabinsk, Russia saw the light Heavyweight WBO title action between Sergey Kovalev and Anthony Yarde and it has given us lots of talking points. The bold facts are that Kovalev was winning comfortably when in the 11th round he stopped Yarde. In the 8th round Yarde had managed to find the way through to Kovalev, wobbled him and nearly caused a massive upset. He didn’t, but the bravery he displayed as well as the skill he brought did not go unnoticed and the future looks good for him. It has led to calls for him to change trainer, to change methods, to criticism from Andre Ward and Eddie Hearn suggesting that Joshua Buatsi will win a world title before he will. The next few months will resolve all of that, to an extent, but the main thing was that Yarde went out and nearly did it showing he belongs at this level. The minor irritation is that, yet another British fighter failed to beat an elite level fighter.
We also had the WBC international silver cruiserweight action between Aleksai Papin and Ilunga Makabu which was a majority decision (MD) to Makabu. With the score cards in the main event showing that Yarde was closer to Kovalev than most British pundits even had it and the MD decision here there is little doubt that we have a bunch of judges very respectful of their roles in the boxing world – worth mentioning and worth praising!
Meanwhile, on the same date but very different time zone, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom were in Sonora, Mexico where they had WBC super flyweight title action between Juan Francisco Estrada and Dewayne Beamon. Estrada stopped a brave Beamon in the 9th and now there is talk of a unification fight in the UK…
The WBC international heavyweight contest between Filip Hrgovic and Mario Heredia ended in the 7th round with Hrgovic stopping Heredia.
The super lightweight fight involving Shakram Giyasov and Darlys Perez which was for the WBA international title didn’t get past the first bell as Giyasov stopped the vastly experienced Perez in the first round!
Jono Carroll at super featherweight beat Eleazor Valenzuela in a good 10 rounds on points whilst super welterweight Liam Smith in against Mario Alberto Lozano, took Lozano clinically out in the 7th round.
In Cairo, Egypt Prince Patel returned and beat Iddi Kayumba for the African Boxing Union title at bantamweight. Patel spoke after of how disappointing his last fight was and believes this is the beginning of amends for it.
Domestically in Barrow-in-Furness BIBA through Lee McAllister, brought a lot of fights that entertained the crowd, however the championship fights promised were lost due to opponents not getting onto a plane. A disappointing belt laced night was saved by some good contests, but this is not the first time BIBA have been dogged by this kind of issue.