by Michael Walsh
Lyndon Arthur has not had the easiest life, growing up in Moston, there are plenty of unproductive routes for young people with bags of energy to go down. He has also faced personal tragedies, sadly losing his older brother to gun crime when he was just ten years old. Despite that, after an esteemed amateur career, Arthur is now 16-0 and knocking on the door of world title fights.
While some people have faced real hardship during the outbreak, Arthur was in good spirits discussing the past four months: “Not too bad – I have never been out of the gym, I’ve been there most days so it hasn’t been too bad. It’s a bit a break from reality with what’s been happening, it hasn’t been normal for anyone so I guess it has been a bit of a break.”
Plan A: Anthony Yarde
Lyndon was due to face Anthony Yarde on 11th April 2020 as the co-main event to the Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce clash at the O2 Arena. It would have been his highest-profile fight to date and one which if he won, would have catapulted him onto the world level scene, considering Yarde’s valiant display against Sergey Kovalev. However, like it has done too much of 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic brought those plans to a screeching halt.
“It got cancelled when I was pretty much ready for the fight – I was there or thereabouts but to be honest, I’m glad it did. I got ill around a week and a half before it got cancelled and I was badly ill. I don’t want to say it was Coronavirus because I don’t know but I had all the same symptoms which they were saying. So, I was glad that the fight got postponed.
“Obviously, Yarde is a great fighter so I would have to be on my A-game. I had to have plans A, B, C all the way to Z for him. We were doing that and we were preparing well. We were preparing as well as you do to get ready for any fight of that calibre.”
As it has been reported, Anthony Yarde endured a difficult few months over lockdown, losing both his father and grandmother to coronavirus and in a show of respect and compassion, Lyndon reached out to him to offer support.
“We’re all human. Just because we’re about to fight each other and are competitors in the same sport, we’re still human. I’ve lost people before so I know what that feels like and getting some condolences can put a smile on your face and uplift you a little bit during a tough time. I’m not saying it had that effect on him but I just feel like, we’re about to fight and enter the ring together so it was out of gratitude to do that.”
Great British Light-Heavyweight Scene
The prospect of the Arthur v Yarde clash had the British public salivating and it highlights the depth of the British light-heavyweight division with these two, Joshua Buatsi, Callum Johnson, Craig Richards and Shakan Pitters amongst others all vying for honours.
There is real potential for some excellent domestic dust-ups. Arthur displayed his excitement, adding: The division is thriving and full of great British fights so it’s only right that they get made at some point.”
Dec Spelman Clash
Not one to hang around for the Yarde fight to come back around, which he does expect to still happen, Arthur will now face the game Dec Spelman and while he has a couple of losses on his record, Spelman is a game opponent who will come to win.
“I guess he was just the next in line. I wanted to fight because I hadn’t fought since October. Before I got the Yarde fight, I was meant to fight him but I took the Yarde fight when that came up. So once the Yarde fight fell through, I was still ready and we put the offer to him and he’s accepted it.
“I see a Lyndon Arthur victory. He is what you see – there are no pulling rabbits out of a hat with him, no tricks. I just feel like it is what it is. I’ve worked on a game plan in the gym and if I can pull that off like how I know I am capable of then I feel like the result on the night will go my way.”
While he is not looking past Spelman, Arthur is looking to make up for time lost by the coronavirus outbreak; “I want to fight again in 2020 after this one. Obviously, the camps are long and gruelling and you need your rest but I would like to get out again before the end of the year. God willing I get through this fight and have no injuries, I’d like to fight again before the end of the year.”
Putting Manchester back on the Map
Last time out in October 2019, Arthur captured the Commonwealth title against the lively Ghanaian Emmanuel Anim in a thrilling encounter in Leeds. Arthur went the distance and passed the toughest test of his career to date, winning support with a fan-friendly style which saw him floor his opponent. Hailing from Manchester, we have seen that boxing fans from there need little excuse to get behind a fighter from their neck of the woods. If Arthur can continue his upward trajectory, there is a great opportunity for him to become the next star to represent Manchester on the global stage.
“I’m just doing what I love and I guess that what you’re talking about comes with the territory of being in boxing and being from Manchester. There’s not many. To be at such a level and to be arms-reach from what could be a world title fight in the next few fights, it’s great. We had Anthony Crolla but he’s retired now. Manchester needs somebody else or some other boxers to come through.
“There is a big opportunity there and it’s always good to have a lot of people behind you like that. The crowds that came out for the Crolla and Hatton fights, those atmospheres were mad. It was crazy when you went to a Crolla fight and seeing all the fans singing and getting behind one person. It is a great feeling I would imagine.”
Lyndon Arthur continues his journey when he fights Dec Spelman on Friday 31st July with the winner looking at a showdown with Anthony Yarde in future.