ANTHONY YARDE needed around 90 seconds to decide he was going to take out Richard Baranyi as quickly as he could. A huge right hand sent the Copper Box visitor sprawling and the follow-up attack persuaded referee Steve Gray to step in and end the contest. With the crunching win, Yarde claimed the WBO light-heavyweight title and – far more importantly – is almost certain to take Baranyi’s place in the Top 10 of their world rankings.
If Baranyi’s rating (No.9) was an accurate one, then Yarde can now claim to be among the best light-heavyweights on the planet. The truth of the matter is he’s not there yet, and Baranyi’s lofty spot was exceptionally flattering; Yarde was a 1/100 favourite going in.
The reality was clear before the opening bell. In stark contrast to his Hungarian prey, the pristinely conditioned Yarde bristled with confidence from the introductions and, as he eased his powerful lead into action without any resistance, an early finish looked likely.
Yarde – one of the brightest prospects in British boxing – turned over his right hand, fired it hard, and watched on as the impact sent Baranyi sprawling into the ropes and down to the floor. The 26-year-old regained his footing but Yarde set about him, hurling powerful blows to head and body, before Gray stepped in to end the bout.
It was an emphatic win for the Englishman but Baranyi’s status as champion highlighted why the WBO European belt has struggled for credibility since its inception. However, Yarde – 12-0 (11) – took care of business with appropriate ease and continues to deliver on his promise.
Elsewhere on the bill, Bradley Skeete retained the British welterweight title in dominant fashion, unanimously outscoring Dale Evans over 12 rounds to win the Lonsdale Belt outright in the process.