Alex Arthur has given himself just 15 months to win another title before he quits boxing and takes up promoting full-time.
During a second successful event at Meadowbank Sports Centre by his new company, AAA Promotions, Arthur showed ring rustiness before eventually beating Michael Frontin of Mauritius on points, after which he set himself a deadline.
The former world super-featherweight champion said: “I promised the family that I won’t fight beyond my 35th birthday in June next year. I’ve had 150 amateur fights and 34 professional fights. I started when I was ten.
“I have dedicated my life to boxing, and I have promised my family I will dedicate my life to them as I have to boxing.
“I have been put on the bench by the promoters who haven’t got me a fight for a year-and-a-half, but now I’m off the bench and looking for a title.
“I’d love to fight for a world title, of course, but I would love to win a title of any kind at light-welterweight. I’d be a happy man if I did that.”
Fighting at two weight divisions above his original professional weight, Arthur has clearly ‘muscled up’ since he fought in August last year: “I’m still adjusting to the weight. I’m working with strength and conditioning coach Mark Kingham and feel I am developing into a full light-welterweight.”
The AAA promotional team is led by Arthur and his wife Debbie, a university graduate in events management, and matchmaker Grant Jeans, described as a workaholic by Arthur. Saturday night’s bill certainly proved their contention that there is demand for professional boxing in Edinburgh and the supporters turned out in numbers to back local men Craig McEwan, Kenny Anderson, Craig McMillan and Jason Hastie.
Los Angeles-based McEwan was top of the bill and fighting in his home town as a professional for the first time. The southpaw comprehensively outpointed Paul Morby of Portsmouth over eight rounds with a superb exhibition of the boxing skills he has learned from legendary trainer Freddie Roach.
“He was a tough guy,” said McEwan. “I started out here at Meadowbank as an amateur and it was great to be back without the vest and the headguard and to show everyone what I can do.
“I would hope we could have more shows here some I can bring titles back to Edinburgh. No disrespect to British boxing, but I think if I was based here I would be British champion.
“Hopefully that performance will open doors for me here. I have shown that I can box and fight, and that I can draw a good crowd. I was 30 on Friday, and time is not on my side, so I want to try for a title now.”
Kenny Anderson was caught out by a left from southpaw Wayne Reed of Sheffield in the first round of their scheduled six-rounder which ended with Reed’s bloodied nose leaving him unable to breathe properly so that he retired on his stool after three one-sided rounds
Anderson said: “I thought it was a slip myself, as I didn’t feel hurt. I took my time getting up and I was surprised that the referee was counting. Fair play to him, he came here and fought, and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to fight in front of my owns fans in Edinburgh.”
Gary McMillan put his Lancastrian opponent William Warburton down for a count in the third round before easing to an impressive 60-53 points win over six rounds at welterweight. Gilmerton’s Jason Hastie made a satisfactory comeback in outpointing journeyman Sid Razak of Birmingham over four rounds at lightweight, four months after his surprising loss to Youssef Al Hamidi in Glasgow.
“It was good to be back in the ring after a defeat where I shouldn’t have been in the ring as I didn’t feel good,” said Hastie. “I felt good and it was a great atmosphere. I would hope to be back in June and perhaps fight for a British masters title this year.”
Mystery still surrounds why local welterweight John McCallum did not get in the Meadowbank ring. AAA Promotions said they offered several opponents for what would have been his fourth professional contest but none were acceptable.