Arthur’s bow as promoter proves resounding success as sell-out crowd rolls up

ALEX Arthur’s debut as a promoter proved highly successful when a capacity crowd of 1,000 turned up at Meadowbank Sports Centre on Saturday evening to justify his faith in Edinburgh’s boxing public.

The former WBO super-featherweight champion invested a sizeable chunk of his ring earnings in the venture knowing that it could turn out to be a costly exercise. But such was the level of interest in the five-fight bill that some interested punters had to be turned away due to a shortage of tickets.

“We did not print enough,” Arthur explained. “The target was 1,000 and we are happy with the number, but we were caught out through inexperience.

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“We brought big-time boxing back to Edinburgh as a result of public demand and it’s very satisfying to know that there is definitely a market for it. I would like to think that we may well do a second promotion before the end of the year.”

Arthur has also rediscovered his zest for the sport after taking a trip back in time. His demolition of Georgian Aleksander Vakhtangashvili after one minute 26 seconds of the fourth round was evidence of the fact.

The 33-year-old said: “I have reinvented myself. Returning to my old trainer, Peter Harrison was a masterstroke because that’s where I belong.

“Peter gave me my grounding in boxing and taught me the basics. Together we can reach the same heights again. Those who said I was finished have been made to think again.

“I was aggressive, but very much in control and the speed is still there. Age is not a factor if you stay fit and healthy. I am back throwing the body shots and long jabs that hallmarked my early career. I am not sure what comes after this, but Peter would like me to have one more warm-up fight before going for a title of some description.”

Paisley’s Kevin McIntyre twice picked himself up off the canvas in the first round of his bout with local welterweight Gary McMillan to secure a points win and register a claim for a fresh shot at the British title.

He said: “I knew I had to produce something special after what happened in the first round, but I was determined not to wave goodbye to everything there and then.”

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kenny Anderson produced an explosive right to finish Sheffield’s Lee Duncan after 48 seconds of the fourth round.

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The 28-year-old super-middleweight softened up his opponent with a series of lefts and rights to the head followed by punishing body shots before flooring Duncan. It was Anderson’s 14th win in 15 contests and strengthens his claims for a rematch with Commonwealth champion George Groves.

Local super-middleweight John McCallum got the five-fight bill underway with an impressive points win over Iain Jackson of Brighton.

The 23-year-old, who has yet to lose a round, lives just a stone’s throw from the venue and his 60-54 success was greeted enthusiastically, as was lightweight Jason Hastie’s disposal of another Englishman, Johnny Greaves by 40 points to 36.

l Alexander Povetkin of Russia defeated Ruslan Chagaev by unanimous decision to claim the vacant WBA heavyweight title in Erfurt, Germany.

The title was Wladimir Klitschko’s following the Ukrainian’s defeat of Londoner David Haye by unanimous decision in Hamburg last month, but was declared vacant when the WBA elevated Klitschko to “super champion” status.

Povetkin, who was the 2004 Olympic heavyweight champion, remains undefeated after 22 fights, and becomes the mandatory challenger for Klitschko. “I don’t want to think about Klitschko,” Povetkin’s American trainer Teddy Atlas said. “I want to think about Povetkin and this title… we’ll think about Klitschko some other time.”

Povetkin won on the judges cards 116-112, 117-113, 117-113.

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