Boxing

Alex Arthur: Scotland Has Struck Gold With Me

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond may want to get his hands on the North Sea oil reserves - but top Scottish boxer Alex Arthur says he's a ready-made national treasure. The interim WBO World Super-Featherweight champion insists he's worth millions to the economy north of the border, and will prove it by unifying the 9'4 division..

"Don't worry about the oil and gas, Scotland's struck gold with me!" said the Edinburgh hot-shot.

"Some fantastic fighters have come out of Scotland over the years, but I want to be the best of the lot.

"Super-featherweight is a quality division, with the likes of Joan Guzman, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez all operating at 9'4, and there's some big money fights to be made for me down the line.

"Joe Calzaghe fought in front of 50,000 fans the other week, and there's no reason why I can't be doing that in a few years time. Just imagine how much money will pour into Glasgow and Edinburgh as I try and become the best in the world.

"I've already said I should have been on the back of the new 20 note instead of Adam Smith - if I unify the super-featherweight division, may be I should be on the front as well as 'King Arthur'!"

Arthur says he will be keeping a close eye on this weekend's WBO super-featherweight title clash between Guzman and Humberto Soto - because he wants the winner.

And the 29-year-old Scotsman also says he is determined to build on the success of his fellow British world champions when he fights on December 15.

Arthur is involved in a Battle of Britain with Steve Foster Jnr at Edinburgh's Meadowbank Stadium, the first defence of the title he won by defeating Koba Gogoladze in Cardiff in July.

"I watched my close friend Joe unify the super-middleweight division in Cardiff, and it was an inspirational performance," said Arthur.

"It made me want to go out there and do the same.

"British boxing is on a high at the moment and I can't believe the buzz surrounding the sport.

"Winning the interim WBO title is just the start of things for me. I'd love to add the WBC, WBA and IBF titles to my collection - as well as the full WBO crown - and with my promoter Frank Warren right behind me, I don't see why I can't achieve that."

Guzman and Soto meet in Atlantic City at the weekend, with unbeaten Guzman the firm favourite.

"I'd love to fight Guzman next," stormed Arthur. "He's one of the best fighters in the world, but to be the best you've got to beat the best, so I'd have no qualms about facing him.

"I'm not sure how long he is going to stay at super-featherweight, but hopefully it will be long enough so I can hand him his first defeat.

"Guzman-Soto is a massive fight in the States, and if I meet the winner, it will be a huge boost for my profile."

Meanwhile Arthur could have his hands full against Salford's Steve Foster Jnr just before Christmas, his first fight in Edinburgh in more than a year.

"Steve's a quality fighter, and there's no way I'm underestimating him," said Arthur. "He struggled to make featherweight, and I believe he will be far more dangerous at super-featherweight. But I'm confident I'll have too much for him."

Article posted on 14.11.2007



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