Lyndon Arthur outpoints Dec Spelman, retains Commonwealth light heavyweight title
Lyndon Arthur retained the Commonwealth light heavyweight title with a convincing 12-round points win over gutsy challenger Dec Spelman.
He earned a decision across the board, 116-112, 116-113 and 119-109, keeping himself in the frame for a fight with former world title challenger Anthony Yarde.
“It was hard,” admitted Arthur, who is now 17-0 (12 KOs). “He said he was going to bring it and be there for the 12 rounds and he was.”
Arthur said he’d damaged his hands in the early rounds but he was a worthy winner.
It was an interesting opening round. Spelman applied the pressure, Arthur looked to time the Carl Greaves-trained challenger on the way in. He caught Spelman with a nice right uppercut but Spelman wasn’t at all deterred even if he was marked by the left eye by round’s end.
Arthur pumped out his jab with regularity through the second half of Round 2 and the right side of Spelman’s face began to swell up. He used his three-inch height advantage and moved well, forcing his left hand into Spelman’s grill.
Arthur’s left was again motoring in the third and he frequently stopped Spelman rushing in by launching a right uppercut behind it.
Spelman (16-4, 8 KOs) was bleeding from the nose by now. He wasn’t slowing but he was paying a price for being in front of Arthur.
The champion was finding a home for his right uppercut with some regularity and Arthur, poised and balanced, was jabbing well and with his back to the ropes he helped himself to a couple of crunching bodyshots. Spelman was gritty and busy, but it didn’t look like the tide was going to turn.
Arthur would sometimes set himself and surprise Spelman with a right down the pipe.
Spelman said beforehand he would walk Arthur down and he was certainly trying. He was game all the way and had his best moments pushing Arthur hard at the end of sessions, like the fifth and sixth. He didn’t do enough to take the rounds but he was making Arthur do the work.
Arthur was not as mobile in the seventh and eighth, perhaps a sign that he was feeling the pace, but he was still having plenty of success when they exchanged on the ropes.
With three rounds to go there was no sign that Arthur would unravel.
Spelman was resilient and tough and even though he was doing plenty he simply wasn’t having the success he needed. It was a hard night for the challenger but he didn’t quit and he didn’t stop trying and for that he deserved plenty of credit.
During fight week there was talk of Arthur moving on to face Anthony Yarde or Joshua Buatsi but he and Yarde share a promoter, Frank Warren, so that’s a more likely next step.
“Let’s get it on,” said Arthur. “Let’s go. I’m ready. It’s signed and sealed for October so let’s go.”
Yarde could have a fight in September in preparation.
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