Lyndon Arthur headlines huge fight card on July 10th at Royal Albert Hall
LYNDON ARTHUR SAYS the world title winning exploits of his boxing ‘twin’ Sunny Edwards has proved an inspiration and an achievement he is eager to emulate.
Sunny, of course, seized the IBF flyweight world title in a sensational fashion with a fleet-footed masterclass against the South African legend Moruti Mthalane in April. His nimble footwork and rapier-like array of shots saw to it that a glittering red belt was soon being couriered to his doorstep in Sheffield.
The 25-year-old world champion ventured across to Manchester this week to the famous Collyhurst and Moston gym, where the uncompromising headmaster is former European champion, the Black Flash, Pat Barrett.
One of Barrett’s star pupils is one of Britain’s and the world’s leading light heavyweights, who is known in boxing circles as King Arthur. Lyndon catapulted himself to the forefront of the division with a display of precise punch picking in his December showdown against big domestic rival Anthony Yarde in London.
The 30-year-old WBO Intercontinental and Commonwealth champion returns to the capital next Saturday (July 30) when he headlines the show at the Royal Albert Hall, taking on the unbeaten, 15-0, Italian Davide Faraci, live on BT Sport.
Inseparable amateur teammates Lyndon and Sunny were back in tandem as the light heavy was put through his paces by Barrett on Wednesday and the older of the pair reflected that he cannot fail to be inspired by his flyweight friend.
“Sunny, man, it was great, wasn’t it,” considered the 18-0 man. “It was just a great thing, I am a bit lost for words, it was just mad and amazing. I’ve watched him coming from ABA finals – and he got beaten in one of them – to the pinnacle of professional boxing.”
The typically reserved – publicly, at least – Lyndon doesn’t give much away at the best of times, but he was visibly ecstatic following Sunny’s triumph. Much more so than after his own successes.
“It is not just me,” he explained. “I know with a lot of boxers, you tend to get more excited about your friends or family fighting than you do about yourself. My reaction showed my feelings.
“It was crazy in the sense that we met on GB (elite amateur squad) and we just clicked straight away and have kept as friends and now we are both here.”
The obvious question remained. How did the quietly eloquent and imposing light heavyweight end up in cahoots with the impish – and some might say outspoken – flyweight?
“Have you seen the film Twins? It is the same sort of thing and we naturally bounce off each other and have done since we met. It just happened organically, it was not forced and we have stayed friends and had a strong relationship ever since.”
Away from his Sunny outlook, Lyndon has a job on his hands against Faraci next week and he is not underestimating the task.
“I have watched a few of his fights and he is a threat. I am the key to his world title shot and his lottery ticket, so to speak. He will take this fight more seriously than any other so I have to be ready.”
Lyndon Arthur has a target on his back
LYNDON ARTHUR has a target on his back, but he isn’t about to hide from the world’s top Light-Heavyweights.
‘King’ Arthur (18-0, 12 KOs) makes the first defence of his WBO Inter-Continental title against Italian champion Davide Faraci (15-0, 7 KOs) at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Saturday July 10, live on BT Sport.
It’s the Manchester man’s first fight since a narrow points win against Anthony Yarde last December, that earned Arthur number one spot in the WBO rankings.
If Arthur keeps winning he will get a crack at WBO champion Joe Smith early next year, but Faraci and Yarde who is chasing a quick rematch fancy their chances of his precious top spot.
“It’s a world title for Faraci and any of these guys who want to face me because they want my number one ranking,” said Arthur who is also Commonwealth champion.
“There is no pressure now that I am number one in the WBO rankings.
“The goal has always been the same, whether I am ranked number ten or number one. The goal has always been to win a world title.
“Faraci has got a decent record to be fair. He has beaten some undefeated kids and a few had winning records.
“He is coming to win and doesn’t know how to lose. I have to show him how to lose so I am excited for the fight.”
Smith will be due to make a mandatory defence early next year, but looks certain to have at least one more defence before the WBO order the fight.
Arthur, 30, who is also top ten ranked by the IBF and WBC added: “Joe Smith is the man I want because he has the world title right now. There is talk of him fighting Daniel Jacobs and if he won then he is the man to beat.
“Smith is good, tough, rugged and comes to fight but I believe I am better than him as I’m supposed to.
“I just have to keep winning and the big chance will come. I will be the mandatory and the WBO champion will have to fight me.”
Ilford’s Yarde (20-2, 19 KOs) who lost a split decision against Arthur also returns on next month’s bill and faces unbeaten German Emin Atra (17-0, 12 KOs) in a non-title ten rounder.
He says there is a contract for the Yarde rematch and wants that soon, but Arthur says: “We will see what happens with the Yarde rematch. I don’t know too much about it and I am not fussed about it.
“I want a world title fight more than anything. There is no rush for it, but I will fight anyone.
Also on the bill WBO ranked number one Super-Middleweight Zach Parker (20-0, 14 KO’s) will defend his WBO International belt against Uzbek Sherzod Khusanov (22-2-1, 10 KOs).
WBO ranked number four Super-Featherweight, Archie Sharp (19-0, 9 KOs) faces Nicaragua’s Marcio Soza (21-6-2, 12 KOs) with the vacant WBO Global championship on the line.
Prodigious bantamweight talent Dennis McCann (9-0, 5 KOs) faces Tanzanian John Chuwa (20-4, 10 KOs).
Elsewhere on the card, 2016 Olympian Muhammad Ali (2-0) will have his third professional assignment against Lee Glover (11-4, 3 KOs), with Lightweight KO-artist Sam Noakes (5-0, 5 KOs) and Light-Heavyweight former Olympic Youth champion Karol Itauma (2-0, 1 KO) also featuring.
Tickets are on sale now, available via the Royal Albert Hall here
Ticket prices as follows:
Grand Tier & Loggia boxes – £100
2nd Tier boxes – £75
Front Stalls – £75
Rear Stalls – £50
Rausing Circle – £50
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