By Steven Bateson
Anthony Yarde made it seventeen from seventeen with a one sided fourth round demolition of Walter Sequeira in Brentwood on Saturday night, successfully defending his WBO Intercontinental Title in the process.
Yarde, tipped to make the move to world level in 2019, had the fight all his own way in what will potentially be looked back on as a mismatch.
Sequeira was dwarfed by his opponent and even when he landed punches had absolutely no effect whatsoever. Yarde walked his man down and had him hurt as early as the first with a solid body shot.
The Argentine showed his guts to stick to task and battle Yarde, smothering in close and throwing his own shots to head and body, but it was only a matter of time before he was dispatched. Yarde got behind his jab in the third and that opened the door for a solid right hand to the temple that momentarily had Sequeira wobbled. Yarde scored two more rights before the end of the round, starting to punch straight through the wilting guard of the visitor.
The end came after three knockdowns in the fourth; Sequeira got in close with Yarde and was trying to bang to the body but Yarde picked a gap in his defence to hammer down a right hand on the neck that put him down for the first eight count. Sequeira was hurt and complaining that the blow landed behind the back of the head but the referee put him back to action and soon another short right hand counter from Yarde had the Argentine on the seat of his pants. The referee could have stopped it there but he allowed Sequeira one last chance as Yarde bounded across to finish the job. A right uppercut broke the guard apart and Yarde nailed a left hook before following up with two more right hands that put his foe down once more and allowed the referee to take mercy.
It was a walk in the park for Yarde, if anything he treat his opponent with contempt and even abandoned defense at times, he and his team really have to now start looking toward serious tests; because this really wasn’t one and he is yet to have one his career. Too often we hear about Yarde’s lack of amateur experience but that excuse is starting to wear thin; he hasn’t faced any of his domestic rivals and yet he is being directed toward the very top of the tree. He has the marketability to be a real star but he needs to face stiffer opposition to prove he is ready for the elite level Light Heavyweights.
Johnny Garton profduced a stellar performance to stop Gary Corcoran in the eleventh round of a gruelling affair for the British Welterweight Championship.
From the opening bell it was toe to toe and competitive, neither man willing to take a backward step as they met in the centre of the ring and threw shots to head and body. Garton arguably shaded the first on cleaner work but Corcoran answered back in the second with frequent left hands to the body and then a sustained barrage in the corner as he manhandled Garton to the ropes. Corcoran was especially finding success with a neat left hook/left uppercut combination.
Garton (now 23-1 with 10 KO’s) sustained a cut around the eye in the third, not for the first time in his career, but he was not deterred as he landed a tremendous left hook/left uppercut of his own. He then caught Corcoran with a right hand, left uppercut as the Wembley man pressured forward, the easiest round of the fight to score so far. Corcoran, though, is a relentless machine and roared back in the fourth, constantly pushing Garton back and winging away with clubbing shots on the ropes. Garton was still landing the cleaner work but Corcoran’s punch output was keeping him on par.
Round five was another tight one before a sickening head clash in the sixth left Garton with another laceration across the top of his head, the blood flowing almost instantly. The blood may have spurred Corcoran on because in the seventh he forced Garton to absorb a lot of damage, the crimson running down into his eyes, and the former world title challenger was now looking the more likely.
Garton was looking a little jaded in the eighth, the frenetic pace taking its toll, but then he timed Corcoran coming in with a flashing overhand right. Corcoran, as expected, showed his mettle and then continued to push forward with attacks of his own, he was looking the aggressor despite taking the occasional counter.
But Garton was unfazed by the front footed nature of his rival and in the ninth he began to time Corcoran’s ragged, uneducated attacks. Corcoran was feeling the pace, breathing heavy, and his legs momentarily dipped off a right hand from Garton, who the followed up with a five/six hook combination. Garton punctuated the round with two big left hands and although Corcoran took them it was clear he had felt the weight of the shots coming his way.
Corcoran was stunned early in the tenth by a left hook and a downward right to the side of the head, sending him back to the ropes. Garton followed up with a hard right and a flurry against the ropes but Corcoran somehow survived it and answered back with his own punches. A trifecta of left hooks came back from Garton, every one finding its target, and then Corcoran received a final warning for use of the head, desperate to use any tactic to stem the tide.
A huge right hand had Corcoran’s legs all at sea at the beginning of the eleventh, both men coated in blood at this point, and then a destructive left hook scrambled all of his senses and prompted the referee to jump in front of him, calling a halt to proceedings.
Garton had looked tired and hurt from the head clash in the sixth but he found a second wind as Corcoran faded, the left hook the most powerful tool in his arsenal. It was a terrific advert from British boxing and both men deserve great credit for their efforts, a re-match may happen down the line but for now Garton will be looking ahead to a defence or two against the rest of the chasing pack.
In a battle of the undefeated Super Middleweight prospects it was Zak Chelli who prevailed over Umar Sadiq. It was a classic boxer versus puncher affair with Sadiq trying to box and move from range whilst Chelli (now 5-0 with 2 KO’s) closed the gap and attempted to land bombs to head and body. The rounds were nip and tuck, Chelli frequently landing the heavier shots whilst Sadiq tried to time him coming in. Chelli took the first two rounds off workrate alone, Sadiq not throwing enough, but then Sadiqi started to getting behind his jab a little more, utilising his reach advantage to try and play catchup. The clinching moment came in the sixth when both men met centre ring and traded blows, Chelli then coming over the top with a right hand to the front of Sadiq’s skull that dropped him for the eight count. Sadiq seemed to gain a second wind from the knockdown as Chelli tired but then the Fulham man scored a left hook counter in the eighth that had Sadiq wobbling once more, the final bell potentially saving him from going down once more. This is likely a fight where they’ll re-match down the line, under championship rounds Chelli’s pacing will need some work. Scorecard read: 77-74
Nathan Gorman boxed his way to a comfortable eight round victory over Poland’s Kamil Sokolowski. It was more like a sparring session at times but Gorman went through the gears, demonstrating fast hands and an impressive punch variation as he treads water before a big fight on December 22nd. There may be those who believe Gorman (now 14-0 with 11 KO’s) could have upped the pace and got rid of his man, he did dispatch Sokolowski in 5 back in 2016, but with a potential tilt at the Commonwealth crown on the horizon you can hardly blame him for not taking too many chances against an opponent who never caused him any alarm. It wasn’t a performance to set the pulses racing but Gorman is definitely one to watch, there are plenty of intriguing bouts in the offing. Referee scored it: 79-73
*Reported that Gorman injured his hand during the fight, extent of injury not yet known but may explain the level of performance
Former British 147lbs champ Bradley Skeete was back in action with a third round TKO over Fernando Valencia. The Penge man stuck behind his excellent jab early doors and then exposed the openings left by his Mexican opponent, taking him out in style. Skeete, last seen suffering a crushing defeat in Spain to Euro Champ Kermin Lejarraga, is now chasing the career defining fights and will likely take one more tune up before pursuing Euro or fringe World level.