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Lydon Arthur retains Commonwealth light-heavyweight title after dominating Dec Spelman to keep Anthony Yarde bout alive

LYNDON ARTHUR put on a backfoot boxing masterclass to outpoint Dec Spelman and secure his post-lockdown battle with Anthony Yarde.

The Manchester ace put his 16-0 record and Commonwealth light-heavyweight title on the line at the BT Sport studio, knowing a shock loss would cost him a big-money meeting with Yarde once fans are allowed back in The O2 arena.

Lydon Arthur retained his Commonwealth light-heavyweight title with ease after dominating Dec Spelman

The Manchester brawler was too good for Dec Spelman

Scunthorpe slugger Spelman promised to chase the 29-year-old all over the Stratford ring and apply pressure he could not handle.

But ice-cool Arthur never looked like getting out of second gear and handled a hand injury to cruise to victory.

After the judges scored it 116-113, 116-112 and 119-109, Arthur said: “It was hard, he said he would be tough and do the 12 and he did. 

“I hurt him a few times and hurt my right hand on his head so I just boxed the 12 rounds at a high pace.

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“I give myself a seven out of 10, I think I could have got him out of there but I didn’t want to tire myself out.

“My message to Anthony Yarde is ‘let’s go, let’s get it on’”.

BT Sport have been hosting fights in their studio

Spelman set the pace as soon as the bell rang, holding the centre of the BT Sport studio ring and doubling up his jabs.

The 28-year-old slipped outside a number of Arthur’s early jabs and should have taken the opener from the judges.

But Arthur was more accurate and malicious with his jab in the second, whipping it up and out from his hip and covered up when Spelman steamed in.

Although throwing fewer punches, Arthur’s lackadaisical-looking digs were cutting into Spelman’s eyes and busting his nose by the time of the third.

Spelman landed with a left hook a minute into the third but Arthur wobbled more through imbalance than pain.

And the undefeated champ scored with a scything right uppercut that sliced up through Spelman’s guard in the final minute of the session.

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Arthur’s back-foot boxing and pinpoint punching was proving the difference in quality between the two 12st 6lb fighters.

Arthur spent the sixth showboating, floating around the ring and dangling out gangly arms to leave himself unguarded but Spelman could not capitalise, instead the champ continued slashing the challenger’s raw cheeks.

Arthur was regularly backed into corners but was ice-cool in seemingly tricky situations and was masterful at catching and countering.

A thunderous straight right and left hook from Arthur snatched the round back after Spelman had made the busier start.

Valiant Spelman kept chasing his target as the clock ticked down but Arthur rarely ventured out of second gear.

In the final break, relentless Spelman was understandably gasping for air while Arthur somehow looked like he had just caught the bus and casually avoided breaking sweat.

Yarde, watching backstage, said he was bored stiff by his rival’s opponent but fans will now be interested to see how their opposite styles clash.

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