Jamie Arthur - Back To Stay

By Mark Pickering: Boxing is more than accustomed to its share of comebacks – there are those who’ve been there and done it, those who’ve had a taste and prospects chasing a career making fight. Jamie Arthur falls into latter category.

After capturing a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester Arthur was keen to establish himself in the paid ranks.

The Cwmbran man, who signed with Frank Warren’s Sports Network stable, quickly found his feet in the professional game and inside a year amassed a 7-0 record.

Despite his success the Welsh super featherweight had shown signs of being susceptible to cuts and a clash of heads with Haider Ali in 2005 led to him being stopped in the third round.

Arthur returned after a six-month lay-off but come off second best against Midlands-based South African Harry Ramogoadi.

The popular Welshman, who was regarded as one of the finest prospects in Britain at the time, was at a crossroads in his career and for Arthur family came first.

“After 3 years in the sport and not making a living, I decided that I should take time out to get some financial support behind me to secure a future for my family, “ said Arthur.

“I totally understood that boxing is one of the hardest and cruelest sports in the world so I just didnt want to become just another statistic of a boxer that could have been better for this reason or that reason, by taking the time out I thought that I would come back better and stronger than before.”

In his time on the sidelines Arthur remained firmly in touch with the sport, fuelling his passion for the sweet science by opening a gym in Newport.

“I have been running my own amatuer boxing gym in Newport now for the last 18 months, the club is called Gold ABC aptly named after my achievments from the Commonwealth Games.

“Being around the sport so much and having now started to build a foundation in business with my business partner and fellow welsh boxer James Moss I felt that the time was right to give my career another go and try and set the record straight.”

After the elementary issue of re-applying for his license, setting a time and place for his return it was time for the real work to begin.

Three years removed from his last outing Arthur has returned to a regime of early encounters with south Wales’ hilly terrain and whipped himself into the best shape of his life for his comeback bout.

Now Arthur, 28, is immersed in establishing himself as a force in British boxing and belives he has a bright future.

“I feel that my potential can get me a shot at the British title some time in the future, if I box to my full potential it will take an extremly good boxer to beat me.

“I feel that when I finished my last few fights I was boxing to only about 60% of my potential so once I reach my peak then I am going to shock alot of people who think that I am over the hill.”

His comeback bout, which will take centre stage at the Newport Leisure Centre Saturday, comes against veteran Ghanaian Ayittey Mettle.

A former bantamweight title-holder in his native West Africa, Mettle, is an unknown quantity but that doesn’t faze the well-spoken Welshman

“So far my opponent has changed twice already so I am not looking to much towards a single style of fighting, like the Commonwealth Games I had to adapt my style to suit the opponent so that is exactly what I will have to do on saturday night.

“Enzo calzaghe once told me that I should train to be the best I can be then it is down to the oppostion to be better, well come Saturday night I guess we will see if Mettle can be better than me on the night.”

Article posted on 06.04.2008

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