Arthur shows heavy mettle.
Byline: Brian Donald
EDINBURGH's 'Amazing' Alex Arthur has blasted his way into a possible January 26 eliminator in the Capital after dismantling Hungarian southpaw Laszlo Bognar in just three rounds at the Bellahouston Leisure Centre.
A smiling Bognar entered the ring to the sound of his favourite heavy metal music, but he had no stomach for featherweight Arthur's equally heavy artillery of brutal body hooks mixed with crashing uppercuts to the hapless Hungarian's head.
After a relatively quiet first round, Arthur staggered southpaw Bognar with a blistering right hand to the chin in the second, a punch which visibly wobbled the Hungarian and made him try to cover up more as the bout progressed - to no avail.
A super series of Arthur uppercuts in the third round dropped Bognar in a neutral corner and with only nine seconds of the bout remaining Paisley referee Victor Loughlin jumped in to save the Hungarian from further punishment - just as his coach was about to throw in the towel.
"You punch harder, much harder than Michael Gomez (the British super featherweight champion against whom Bognar twice put up stern ring resistance in two consecutive IBO title jousts earlier this year)," the Hungarian told Arthur afterwards.
Arthur, though, admitted: "I feel a slight anti-climax as Bognar had been built up as my sternest test yet, but once I clattered him with those upper cuts I could sense the fight draining out of him from the middle of the second round onwards.
"Besides, my coach Peter Harrison had told me not to hang around, although I had eight rounds to do the job in, so I went to work on Bognar."
Among those impressed by Arthur's latest win was his promoter, Frank Warren, who said: "Alex and his stablemate, Scott Harrison, proved what hot box office they are here in Scotland.
"We had to turn away around 1000 punters who were clamouring for tickets at the door.
"But when you see a performance like Arthur's destruction of Bognar you can understand the boxing fans' excitement.
"As a result of this clamour for tickets I am seriously contemplating putting Alex and Scott Harrison on in Edinburgh on January 26, although I also want Alex to fight in a London show on December 15."
Warren added: "I've handled Naseem Hamed and loads of the biggest names in the business but honestly, Alex Arthur excites me most of all.
"He is so cool, he boxes and punches like a dream, but most of all he is such a ruthless so and so inside the ropes that I'm confident he will win a world title."
However, Warren, who also represents British featherweight champion Michael Gomez, finally quashed any possibility of the Manchester boxer defending his title against Alex Arthur.
"It won't happen now because I'm negotiating a world title fight for Gomez right now," he said.
Arthur, whose girlfriend is expecting their first child very soon, said: "The January date is great but , to be honest, I'm not keen about Frank Warren's December 15 bout idea in London. I want to spend time with my girl Debbie and our new baby and I'll be telling Frank Warren that."
Arthur also revealed that he is in no hurry to box for the British title yet : "I would rather win one of the better quality Intercontinental titles like the WBO or WBC crowns before battling for the British."
That strategy was applauded by Arthur's match maker and corner cutsman, legendary Londoner Ernie Fossey. "I actually support Alex Arthur's Intercontinental title idea because a British title with a Lonsdale belt means the Board of Control call all the shots on which opponents any fighter faces," said Fossey. "But the WBO and WBC are more flexible giving the defending champion more freedom to pick his fights."
Reflecting on Arthur's latest display, former world champion Ken Buchanan said: "What a superb performance that was - Alex impressed me by the way he constantly manoeuvred Bognar into position in the ring for his telling punches.
"Sure, he has one or two things to improve on, like a tendency to drop his right hand when jabbing sometimes, but overall he's the real thing.
"All he needs are the lucky breaks and he will definitely win a world title."
Even the world of pop music is eager to jump on the growing Alex Arthur fan club band wagon.
The music to which former Leith Victoria star entered the Glasgow ring to was personally penned for him by 1970s pop group leader Brian Spence of Bilbo Baggins.
"Brian has penned three personal pre-fight ring battle anthems for me to enter the ring to," revealed Arthur. "What was played at Bella-houston was the first one. It is music that really fires me up, especially knowing it is my own personal anthem composed just for my fights."
COPYRIGHT 2001 Scotsman Publications Ltd.
Page Last Updated: 4th March 2010
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