Light Heavyweight prospect Anthony Yarde came through his toughest test to date with a fourth round stoppage of Montenegrin-Serbian Nikola Sjekloća, on the undercard of James Degale vs Caleb Traux.
Sjekloća has fought at a high level, albeit at Super Middleweight and had lost only four fights. These defeats came against either top contenders and World Champions. He had never previously been stopped.
This fight was definitely a step up in class for Yarde and it showed early.
Sjekloća started on the front foot and took the fight to Yarde in the first couple of rounds. However Yarde’s power and precision was the key to overcoming his stubborn opponent.
Yarde took a competitive first round. Yarde was behind in the second as Sjekloća ramped up the pressure.
However Yarde turned the round on it's head with a vicious right uppercut and right hook combination that floored Sjekloća.
From that moment on the writing was on the wall. And even though Sjekloća caught Yarde with some clean right hand in the third, Yarde came out for the fourth with wicked intentions, putting Sjekloca down before forcing the referee to call a halt to the contest.
It was a good fight for Yarde. He proved he could take a punch, soak up pressure yet still get his punches off to devastating effect. The only negative was that he was getting caught far too much for my liking, especially by the right hand, considering that Yarde is a slickster that likes carry his left hand low. MAybe he didn’t respect Sjekloća power. However he cannot afford to get caught like that by some of the big hitters in the division like Sergey Kovalev.
All in all a good night for Anthony Yarde. The 26 year old moves to 14-0 with 13 stoppages. If you haven’t heard of this guy; you may be very soon.