THE jab can be a potent weapon. It proved decisive for Lyndon Arthur in his Commonwealth title fight with Anthony Yarde at Church House in London on Saturday (December 5).
Yarde was the former world title challenger and the flashier operator. But Arthur relied on his left almost solely in the first half of their contest and it worked for him. Arthur, the Commonwealth champion, stepped off him, landing fast, long jabs. Those solid shots were winning him rounds. Yarde was trying to land jabs of his own but he was not the fighting with the urgency he needed to force himself past Lyndon’s left.
Yarde did cannon a right over the top in the fourth round and he landed that power punch to the jaw again in the sixth. Arthur had kept his right coiled but he had scarcely thrown it. Just as it looked like that hand was out of action, Arthur stepped in with a heavy one-two, landing the right with force to start the ninth round.
It was a close contest, but Arthur had the better control of the rounds, until the 12th. Then Yarde shook him up with the right and kept on the pressure. Arthur was hurt but stayed upright, holding on to take a split decision. Ian John Lewis scored a bizarrely wide card for Yarde 117-111, but Michael Alexander and Marcus McDonnell agreed on 115-114 for Arthur.
The bout might not have caught fire as expected, until the final round at least, but it was tense and gripping throughout and for Arthur the breakout victory he’s been waiting for.