Former WBO 175lbs title challenger Anthony Yarde will return against Scunthorpe’s Dec Spelman on a Queensberry Promotions card on September 12.
Last month, Spelman went 12 rounds with Commonwealth champion Lyndon Arthur, who was originally scheduled to face Yarde before the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
With Arthur potentially next in line for the heavy-handed Yarde, the September 12 fight with Spelman will provide a useful measuring stick as to how that fight may play out.
“Boxing is a game of egos and Anthony is keen to show the world that he can go one better than Lyndon and blast Spelman out early,” said promoter Frank Warren. “Spelman is not an easy fight for anyone, but if Anthony comes through we’ll be on course for Yarde vs Arthur later this year hopefully.
“I am delighted to be bringing Anthony back because he needs a competitive fight before his big domestic showdown against Lyndon Arthur and he will be determined to do a better job on Dec Spelman than his rival. He has put the onus on himself to find an explosive performance after complaining about Lyndon’s fight with Dec being boring!
“I still firmly believe Anthony is a world-level elite operator and he will prove as much given time but, for now, he needs to keep busy and remind the public of what he is all about.”
Yarde added: “The people want explosive action and knockouts so I will not be hiding behind my jab and sending everyone to sleep. This will be all about me reminding people that I am the force of the division and I am heading right back to the top where I intend to dominate and reign for a long time to come.
“I respect Dec Spelman as a fighter but this is the chance for me to show everyone what they can expect when I get to share a ring with Lyndon Arthur.”
Spelman certainly hopes Yarde lives up to his words and engages in the trenches. “If Yarde comes to fight then so much the better for me,” he said. “Lyndon made our fight a technical affair that I was disappointed I couldn’t really get to grips with, so if Yarde wants some action then bring it on.
“I will actually be his first test at domestic level so we will see how he looks on the night.”
Yarde vs Spelman will be supported by heavyweight Nathan Gorman against Ghana’s Richard Lartey (subject to visa approval) in an eliminator for the Commonwealth title.
Other action sees English champion welterweight champion Ekow Essuman facing French dangerman Cedrick Peynaud as well as a tantalising battle of middleweight punchers between Battersea’s unbeaten Denzel Bentley and Oldham banger Mark Heffron.
Lightweight Mohammad Bilal Ali, featherweight Amin Jahanzeb and 154lbs debutant Joshua Frankham will also appear. The card will be broadcast live on BT Sport in the UK.