Lyndon Arthur did his part of the bargain as he stopped Italy’s Davide Faraci in the ninth round at the Royal Albert Hall in London to set up his rematch with Anthony Yarde.
Yarde should have co-headlined the show with Arthur - but his opponent, Emin Atra, pulled out. That fight is likely to go ahead next month now, with Arthur-Yarde penciled in for October.
Arthur carried much more power than the often-ragged Faraci, but he wasn’t busy and tended to wait too long at times to launch his attacks. Still, the finish was impressive as he knocked down the softened-up Faraci twice before forcing the stoppage.
After a tight opener, the Italian began the second round well, landing a decent right hand, although he then seemed to step on Arthur’s foot and fall to the floor. Faraci’s balance seemed to be slightly off thereafter, perhaps the result on going over on an ankle.
Arthur took time to find his range, but stepped up a gear in the third round as he buzzed Faraci with a couple of chopping rights hooks.
Faraci came out firing at the start of the fourth round and caught Arthur with a good left hook and a nice uppercut. But after referee Marcus McDonnell ignored the Italian’s pleas that he was caught by a low punch – which looked blatantly low – Arthur started to take over landing two hard bodyshots and then some clubbing punches in close.
The fifth was a tough one for Faraci, as he soaked up a steady stream of right hands. With 20 seconds remaining in the round, Arthur landed a big right that staggered Faraci and then landed another one, which forced the Italian to hold before staggering back to his corner at the bell.
Any thoughts that Arthur might quickly finish matters were evaporated, as he failed to go for the finish in the next two rounds and was outworked by Faraci in the eighth round until finishing the session well.
Arthur went out with the intention of finishing things in the ninth. A left hook finally sent Faraci to the canvas and after the Italian tried to battle his way back in he was dropped by the ropes by a right-left-right combination.
He was allowed to box on, but two more right hand saw McDonnell dive in at 2:24 of the ninth round.
Sam Noakes continued the winning start to his professional career as Lee Connelly was pulled out by his corner after three one-sided rounds.
Noakes is heavy handed and ensured Connelly was not going to have a comfortable night from the off. At times Noakes looked a bit right-hand happy but he was landing and gave Connelly no hiding place.
Midway through the third, Connelly raised his hands after finally slipping a punch. In the main Noakes caught him regularly with heavy shots, so it was a wise move by Connelly’s corner to pull him out at the end of the third round.
The lightweight contest was scheduled for six rounds.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.