Yarde set for toughest test yet

PUBLISHED: 13:30 15 May 2017

Anthony Yarde (left) and Tunde Ajayi (pic: Len Whaley)

Anthony Yarde (left) and Tunde Ajayi (pic: Len Whaley)


Southern Area title chance for Peacock fighter

Explosive light-heavyweight Anthony Yarde faces the toughest test of his career at Stratford’s Copper Box Arena on Saturday.

Yarde is one of three unbeaten professionals from the Peacock gym in action on the world title bill on what adds up to the busiest boxnig day of the year for the Canning Town outfit, who also have their amateurs in action at an open-air tournament at Barking in the afternoon.

After slamming his way to nine stoppage wins in 10 straight wins, power-punching Yarde takes his first title contest against Southern Area champion Chris Hobbs, the Southampton soldier who has suffered only one defeat in eight bouts.

They meet on the bill topped by IBF world champion Gervonta Davis defending against Liam Walsh and brother Ryan Walsh facing Marco McCullough and the 25-year-old Yarde said: “The Southern Area belt will be my first on the way to the top.”

Yarde is trained by Tunde Ajayi at the Peacock and the fighter some are calling ‘the new Nigel Benn’ will start as a hot favourite to claim the belt.

But 29-year-old champion Hobbs said: “We will see how good Yarde is against a real opponent on Saturday.

“I could have made an easier choice but I wanted this. If I win I will fight for the British title. I know how much a victory over Yarde would lift my career.”

The Frank Warren promotion also features another heavy hitter from the Peacock gym in the shape of heavyweight Daniel Dubois, who goes for his third straight win since turning professional this year.

The powerful 19-year-old has already registered two quick-time triumphs, winning in Manchester and Leicester, and now seeks to continue that form in his first paid appearance in the capital.

Unbeaten welterweight Sam McNess, the son of former pro Steve who is trained by Mark Tibbs at the Peacock, aims to maintain his victory march with a seventh straight win against a selected rival on the undercard.

Former West Ham amateur title winner Lucien Reid aims to make it half a dozen pro wins on the same bill, with Boy Jones Junior, Billy Long, Archie Sharp, Sanjeev Sahota, Joe Pigford and Aarron Morgan also set for action at the Copper Box.

Earlier on Saturday the Peacock amateurs are featured on the annual open air tournament at the United Services Club in Blake Avenue Barking.

The show arranged by the club coach Andre Olley has proved a success in recent years with some promising heavyweight action lined up on Saturday’s programme.

Raheem Lake, Ivo Odidi and Emmanuel Ugori are named to wear Peacock colours against visiting opposition on the show.

Brothers James and Emin Aloa are also named on the Peacock programme which features other London clubs under the Amateur Boxing Alliance banner.

Barking boxers are among those booked for the tournament which is scheduled to start around 1pm with tickets available on the door.

*Unbeaten super-welterweight Paul Upton looks for his 14th straight success when he appears on the ‘New Era’ bill at Brentwood on Friday night.

The Upton brothers are members of the pro stable trained by Barry Smith at the West Ham Boys Club gym in Plaistow, although Anto is ill and unable to appear on the show.

The 28-year-old Paul, who scored a four-round win on the Brentwood bill in March, still awaits for confirmation of the opponent he faces on Friday’s bill, promoted by Johnny Roye.

The Brentwood show also features the 50th pro fight of former IBO world, British and European titleholder Colin Lynes – another winner on the March show when he was returning to the ring after a three years absence.

Lynes, who turns 40 later this year, faces South London based Bulgarian Mario Petrov, while Bradley Smith meets Ibrar Riyaz and Mike Sakyi faces James Carley.

Billy Allington, Jake O’Meara, Tey-Lynn Jones, Richie Gray, Louis Adolphe and John Gillies are named for supporting bout action on Friday’s bill.

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