News May 2007

Modern Rivalries...

Alex Arthur will fight for a version of the WBO super-featherweight title on July 7 in Cardiff, promoter Frank Warren confirmed today as he hailed a new era of potential domestic fights to match the Benn-Eubank-Collins age.

Arthur tackles American based Georgian Koba Gogoladze at the Cardiff International Arena for either the full WBO or interim WBO crown. The status of the fight depends on the next move of current champion Joan Guzman.

The 28-year-old Scotsman, a former European, Commonwealth and British champion, will be joined on the card by other world title fights.

But today's London press conference to announce Arthur's fight was all about the lighter weights - and a series of all-British grudge matches that Warren is keen to make over the next 12 months.

Gogoladze may be Arthur's next foe, but if Warren has his way, it will be other British fighters he will face in the future.

At a 5* West End hotel, Warren was joined by current Commonwealth super-featherweight champion Kevin Mitchell, WBO featherweight title challenger Nicky Cook, WBU featherweight champion Derry Matthews, Commonwealth lightweight title challenger Amir Khan and former WBO interim lightweight title challenger Graham Earl.

Only Arthur was absent after his youngest son had to taken to hospital.

"Everyone remembers the days of the super fights between the likes of Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Steve Collins and Michael Watson," said Warren.

"What I'll be looking to do in the very near future is replicate those fights but between featherweight and lightweight. You are looking at the protagonists today.

"There's already been talk of fights between the likes of Mitchell and Arthur, Khan and Earl, Cook and Matthews. I want to make that talk reality.

"And there's no reason why these guys can't go up or down through the weights. Eubank and Benn started out as middleweights but ended up at super-middleweight. The same thing can happen now.

"We are on the cusp of something very, very exciting. There's a tremendous buzz surrounding Amir Khan's next fight, and we can build on that with more contests that really catch the public's imagination.

"I've got fighters into great positions, fighting for big titles, and now is the time to capitalise on their popularity and status and make top, top fights.

"As sure as is eggs is eggs, these fights will happen. We are looking to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, and I've got some fights in mind."

Khan, of course, takes on Willie Limond on July 14 at the O2 Arena, London, with Nicky Cook also on the card in a WBO featherweight title challenge against Steve Luevano.

Meanwhile Arthur will go into the Gogoladze fight with a 24-1 (18) record and top 10 ranking with all four of the world governing bodies.

His 34-year-old southpaw opponent boasts victory over current British champion Carl Johanneson, is the current WBO number one and has a 20-1 (8) record. His only defeat came at the hands of Almazbek "Kid Diamond" Raiymkulov.

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