Lyndon Arthur returns to the fray at the Albert Hall on Saturday, writes John Dennen
LYNDON ARTHUR returns to action on Saturday (July 10) at the Royal Albert Hall in London. But he won’t be rematching Anthony Yarde on this occasion. It’s the first time Arthur will have boxed since he outscored Yarde over 12 rounds to defend his Commonwealth title and define himself as one the best light-heavyweights currently in the UK. It was a win that was more assured than the split decision result might suggest, especially as Arthur had to manage an injury to his right hand.
Given he’s had the injury to recover from, it’s understandable that Arthur is not coming back against a major opponent. Davide Faraci, a Swiss born light-heavy now based in Italy, will face him. Faraci is little known but is unbeaten with a 15-0 (7) record. Faraci is rough, aggressive. He can be a shade ungainly when he swings with his punches but he does throw leather and will surely go for Arthur. It might get ugly but Faraci should make it a fight.
This though should afford an opportunity for Arthur to show what he can do with two fully functioning arms. His jab is quality, it ought to bring Faraci under his control and then Arthur can land punishing shots with his right. It’s hard to say how resilient the ultimately untested Faraci might be. If Arthur is in form and confident, he can grind out an inside the distance victory.
“I’ve just got to go in there and do what I’m supposed to do. What I’m supposed to do will be enough against Faraci, I believe,” Arthur said.
Anthony Yarde was due to box on this show too, but his opponent fell through close to the fight date and could not be replaced.
Promoter Frank Warren expects to position Arthur, ranked eighth in the world, and Yarde for a rematch later this year. “Both the guys have agreed to it, that will happen. [But] Lyndon’s fighting Faraci, who the Italian light-heavyweight champion and he’s used to fighting abroad,” the promoter said. “He’s coming to fight. [Lyndon’s] got a spot that everyone wants. Lyndon’s [WBO] number one and everyone wants to get in that spot.
“They come here and they know by beating one of these guys they get themselves into the big time. [Arthur] just can’t afford to slip up.”
When it comes to rematching Yarde, Arthur reflected, “If it happens, it happens and I believe I’ll win again.” But as far as he’s concerned he’s ready now for Joe Smith, the number two contender in the division (and WBO belt-holder). Victory for Arthur over Smith could set up a shot at world champion, Artur Beterbiev. “I’ll only find out when I fight for a world title but I believe I am. I’ve already said I believe I am,” Arthur said. “[Joe Smith] has got a big target on his back… I think I’d beat him. Obviously. That’s what I’m fighting for.
“I just think I’m better than him.”
A busy undercard sees Zach Parker against the 22-2-1 Sherzod Khusanov. The latter, visiting from Uzbekistan, is 41 years old and his career is winding down. Parker, unranked at super-middleweight by BN but loftily placed by the WBO, needs to secure victory to maintain his progress.
Archie Sharp is another with a high WBO ranking but doesn’t yet figure in at in the BN super-featherweight ratings. Travelling Mexican boxers are not to be take lightly and he boxes the 13-4-2 Diego Andrade Chavez.
A raft of good prospects get outings. Karol Itauma, a Youth Olympic gold medallist, is highly promising. He gets his third pro contest.
All-action Sam Noakes goes in with experienced journeyman Lee Connelly. Noakes has stopped all five of his professional opponents prior to this.
Dennis McCann continues to be built. In his 10th fight he boxes Tanzania’s John Chuwa. He might be McCann’s most seasoned opponent yet but “The Menace” should be expected to outclass.
Muhammad Ali is a 2016 Olympian, who served a lengthy ban for failing a drug test. He boxed twice last year and continues his career against Lee Glover.
The Verdict Arthur must build on the momentum of his victory over Yarde.