All hail great Beterbiev-Yarde battle, just don't count on Beterbiev-Bivol
While we bask in the glory of Saturday's classic, I'm here to throw cold water on your dreams of an undisputed title showdown
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I thoroughly enjoyed the terrific fight between unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde on Saturday. They both let it all hang out, fought as hard as they could and gave us the first great fight of the year.
It was no surprise to me that it was a quality, hard-hitting fight nor did it surprise me that eventually Beterbiev chopped Yarde down, which he did in a bloody eighth-round knockout victory.
I loved Beterbiev’s ruthless, poised aggression and short punches. I loved the heart Yarde showed, his big shots and the improvements he has made since his first losing title shot against Sergey Kovalev in 2019.
I also give Yarde’s trainer, Tunde Ajayi, a big tip of the hat for stopping the fight when he did. Yarde had been dropped very hard in the eighth round and although he was able to continue, he was on the ropes taking more shots and I truly believe he was a punch or two from being splattered on the canvas in a brutal knockout.
Beterbiev is a ferocious puncher and a great finisher. Ajayi knew it and stopped the fight. He protected his fighter, as he is supposed to do, and he did at the exact perfect time.
Yarde was able to leave the ring disappointed, of course, but with his head held high, having fought very well in front of his London hometown fans rather than potentially being hurt in a bad KO.
I like the idea that Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren, floated after the fight about a