Throughout the past decade, the World Boxing Organisation has become increasingly omnipresent in British rings. Usually the preserve of Frank Warren’s Sports Network promotions, the WBO has become synonymous with Warren’s elite champions. No surprise then, that over-ripe Scottish contender Alex Arthur appears close to a shot at their Super-Featherweight title. Less surprising is the news world-class Joan Guzman’s forthcoming abdication of the ‘crown’ precedes the challenge.
Alex Arthur, who the Scotsman reports has been criticised by The Ring magazine as being the most over-protected Super-Featherweight contender, is discernibly a talented fighter. At 28, he needs to discover the depth or scale of that talent sooner rather than later and while he is unfortunate to inhabit a division where the vast shadows of Barrera, Morales and Pacqauio have all been cast during the past 2-3 years it really is time Arthur got a shot.
Of course Arthur could, and perhaps should, have been at this final step long ago. Crushing defeat to erratic Mancunian Michael Gomez curtailed his ascension and caused a great deal of introspection from the tall youngster. Successfully regrouped as European Champion – beating Boris Sinitsen to secure the belt – his trajectory has proved to be the exact opposite of his nemesis Gomez, who recently announced yet another comeback, a forlorn gesture from a fighter who never recaptured the form he showed tearing Arthur’s credentials to pieces. The Gomez defeat remains, an unsoothed irritation but one unlikely to be reversed given the different horizons of the two fighters. Arthur’s opportunity arises because Joan Guzman is moving up a division to face Michael Katsidas – the Australian who brutalised Graham Earl earlier this year to win the – you guessed it – vacant WBO Lightweight belt. Georgian boxer Koba Gogoladze is likely to be the opponent should the chance come to pass.
Read the Scotsman’s interview with Arthur by clicking here.