Brave Brit Lyndon Arthur fails in bid to dethrone light-heavyweight king Dimitry Bivol but gives Russian serious scare
LYNDON ‘KING’ ARTHUR bravely failed to dethrone light-heavyweight king Dimitry Bivol but gave him one of the biggest scares of his reign.
The 31-year-old Mancunian was a huge underdog in taking on the WBA champion and pound-for-pound star who dominated Canelo Alvarez in a performance-of-2022 contender – and he lost a wide decision.
But a body shot in round eight robbed the Russian of his oxygen and almost made the Englishman a legend before the judges all rightly scored it: 120-107.
Bivol was abusive from the off, spearing his razor-like jab into the tattooed torso and bearded chin of the Englishman.
The undefeated ace was vicious in the second too, a double-jab-right-hand was as punishing as it was precise and long left hooks were getting around Arthur’s guard.
And a flurry of punches inflicted when the Englishman was pinned on the ropes would have dropped a weaker man.
Arthur was peppered early in the third session too, it seemed impossible that he would hear the bell.
But he wisely tucked up and slipped out of the way of as many shots as possible, shipping the others on his high guard.
Bivol was racking up the rounds and increasing his chances of a 22nd consecutive win.
Arthur’s high and chiselled cheekbones were turning purple and puffy by the fourth.
But a long right hand to the brave challenger’s shaven skull was the best punch of the stanza.
Arthur boxed more optimistically in the fifth slashing at Bivol’s body with both hands.
But just before the bell he tasted another missile of a right hand that must have dented his spirit and belief, if not his skull.
Round six looked like being Arthur’s best after he landed a crisp one-two and also physically dominated in the clinch.
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But he was still hit by the more regular scoring shots and was probably 6-0 down with the judges.
Round eight was Arthur’s best thanks to a shock right hand that definitely hurt Bivol, the blue corner spotted the champion was hurt by the blow and urged their man to target the torso again.
But the celebrated amateur sucked up the pain and desert oxygen and ended the stanza back on the front foot fizzing shots into the rival.
It was a testament to Arthur’s pride and defensive skills that he was still in the ring when the bell rang to end the ninth as Bivol was back in free flow.
But even in round 10 – when the blows were raining down on him – Arthur whacked at the verse tattooed over his heart and kept upright and trying.
But, with just ten seconds of round 11 remaining, Arthur was backed into a neutral corner and pasted with a range of blows until a left hook to the right flank sank him to the canvas for a count of eight.
But Bivol bullied him straight back into the exact same spot in the last round and unleashed everything, Arthur was a hero for weathering the storm and he deserved to hear that final bell.
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