ANTHONY YARDE had set himself a task. He’d declared he would halt Dec Spelman and, at 2-42 of their sixth round, he lived up to that promise.

On Saturday (September 12) at York Hall in Bethnal Green, former world title challenger Yarde was well composed. He flicked out quick jabs, finding the range. Gutsy Spelman closed in, firing his right over. But Yarde smartly made sure to counter-attack whenever Spelman found success. Big right hooks clapped into Spelman’s body and head, echoing in the empty arena. They carried real force. He handspeed was good, his reactions sharp and that power was precisely as advertised.

In the sixth round Yarde ramped up his attack with style. He launched his cross into Spelman’s head, knocking him backwards. Yarde marauded forward and a right hook smashed in, forcing Spelman down to the canvas.

Spelman protested but referee Michael Alexander did not want him to take any more damage.

“I was sharp,” Yarde said afterwards. “This win meant a lot.

“I’m looking for my shots, I’m landing the right shots. It’s about learning in the ring, landing the critical shots.”

The victory compares favourably with Lyndon Arthur, who went the distance with Spelman in July, but British rivals Yarde and Arthur remain on a collision course.

In their second round Denzel Bentley dropped Mark Heffron with a fine left cross, delivered from the southpaw stance. It put Heffron over on the seat of his shorts. Battersea’s Bentley was strong, especially in the first hall of the fight, moving laterally round the ring to bring Heffron on to punches.

But Oldham’s Heffron doggedly continued to press forward on the front foot. When Bentley strayed into corners Heffron attacked the body and slammed his right cross into the Londoner’s chin. Heffron hammered his left hook into his jaw in the ninth. It looked hurtful but Bentley held his footing and finished strongly, attacking Heffron in the 10th and final round. However all three judges had them level at 95-95. A rematch is required to settled the score.

Nottingham’s Ekow Essuman went a solid 10 rounds with Cedrick Peynaud. The Frenchman winged in hooks, clipping Essuman occasionally. But Ekow sapped his energy with firm shots to body, planting jabs through Peynaud’s guard too. He upped the pressure periodically, almost forcing Peynaud to buckle in the eighth round. But the former kickboxer, who’d given Conor Benn such problems, endured. Essuman was a unanimous victor, 100-90, 98-93 and 98-92 for the judges.

Blackpool’s Ed Harrison upset the previously unbeaten Mohammed Bilal Ali, despite the wrong winner initially being announced. The Beckton man was deducted a point for holding, a profound error in a four rounder. He could not denying Harrison, losing a 39-37 points decision for referee Marcus McDonnell.

Reading’s Joshua Frankham won his pro debut, beating Stourbridge veteran Kevin McCauley 40-36 for referee Marcus McDonnell.

Amin Jahanzeb outscored Jamie Quinn, 60-54 for referee Marcus McDonnell, over six rounds.