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Artur Beterbiev retains light-heavyweight belts after all-time classic fight


Unbeaten light-heavyweight world boxing champion Artur Beterbiev has stopped Britain’s Anthony Yarde in a thriller at London’s Wembley Arena to retain his WBC, IBF and WBO belts.

The Russian-born Canadian sent the Briton to the canvas with a punishing right and, after a count, the challenger’s corner signalled to referee Steve Gray to stop the fight two minutes and one second into the eighth round.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Artur Beterbiev stops Anthony Yarde in classic fight.

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Montreal-based Beterbiev, 38, was behind on two of the three judges’ scorecards at that point but the victory, against an underdog who turned out to be a real threat, took his professional record to 19-0-0.

Yarde, 31, is now on 23 wins with three defeats and no draws.

Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde exchange punches during their WBC, IBF and WBO light heavyweight fight in London. Credit: Top Rank Inc/Top Rank via Getty Images

Both men suffered facial cuts as they traded blows at a ferocious pace from the opening bell, Yarde under his right eye and Beterbiev to his left eyelid.

Yarde twice lost his gumshield in a pulsating fight that saw both men hammered against the ropes and landing stinging blows.

Beterbiev made every punch count but Yarde held in there and landed a crunching right in round five before then being caught by an uppercut.

Round seven was another classic, Yarde pushing Beterbiev into a corner but the champion turning it around to rain down blows on the Briton.

Artur Beterbiev celebrates after defeating Anthony Yarde during their WBC, IBF and WBO light heavyweight championship fight at OVO Arena Wembley. Credit: Top Rank Inc/Top Rank via Getty Images

“He gave one of the best fighters in the world the toughest fight he’s ever had,” said promoter George Warren of Yarde.

“I had him up (on the scorecard). It was a pendulum fight almost, it swung like a pendulum. Anthony started really well. He showed that he can hurt him and keep him off him and at bay.”

Beterbiev, booed as he entered the ring and applauded as he left it, sank to his knees in joy as the referee stepped in and said afterwards he was prepared to take the punches and counter.

Asked about a future bout with Russia’s unbeaten WBA champion Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed title, Beterbiev said he hoped that might happen.

“I want Bivol,” he said. “This right now is everything. In this fight we have four belts, it’s a really good fight I think.”

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Source: 7News