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BOXING: KING ARTHUR; Win takes Alex step closer to place in history books.

Byline: TED TRACEY

ALEX ARTHUR is desperate to earn himself a place in boxing's history books alongside the heroes he worshiped as a kid.

He took another leap towards a stab at a world crown by successfully defending his British super-featherweight title against Carl Greaves in Newcastle on Saturday.

His achievements have drawn praise from the likes of Ken Buchanan and Jim Watt and such compliments mean a lot to the Edinburgh fighter.

Arthur said: "I've been a boxing historian since I was a kid.

"I've got 3000 videos and all the history books so I know everything there is to know and it means a lot to hear such great names praising me."

Arthur is quickly emerging as one of the brightest prospects in Britain and a leading figure in the Scottish boxing revival which has already seen Scott Harrison claim the WBO featherweight crown.

Although Greaves showed much more resistance than he had in a previous title challenge against Michael Gomez two years ago - when he was blown away in two - the result was inevitable.

Arthur stopped the Englishman in the sixth round for the 14th straight win of his career.

The Scot added: "It was Greaves' World Cup final and just a voluntary defence for me so I'm happy I kept focused.

"I took my time, picked my shots and ground him down. I was tempted at times just to get in there but I had to be patient and not just flail away with shots."

The 24-year-old turned professional after a glittering amateur career which culminated in Commonwealth Games gold in Kuala Lumpur four years ago.

And promoter Frank Warren already insists Arthur could be boxing for a version of the world title by the end of next year.

Meanwhile, Joe Calzaghe issued an ultimatum to his fellow 12-stone champions after keeping hold of his WBO super- middleweight crown in a four-minute mis-match in Newcastle.

Calzaghe is quickly tiring of embarrassingly easy wins such as that against American substitute Tocker Pudwill.

The North Dakotan was down three times before referee Dave Parris stopped the contest 39 seconds into the second round, making Calzaghe's 12th defence of his title his easiest yet.

Calzaghe insists that if he fails to tempt either undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins or Germany's IBF king Sven Ottke into the ring within six months, he will relinquish his title.

He said: "I'm frustrated at not getting the unification fights and I want to fight against the best pound- for-pound fighters in the world.

"I want that opportunity and if I don't get it I will seriously consider moving up. I've always said I want to be a two- time world champion."

Ricky Hatton moved a giant step closer to his dream of a Maine Road date after crushing Joe Hutchinson.

Manchester City fan Hatton hopes his clash with Junior Witter will be the last event to be staged at his beloved stadium next July before it is demolished.

Witter was ringside to watch 24-year-old Hatton successfully defend his WBU light-welterweight title for the eighth time when he stopped Hutchinson in the fourth round.

Evander Holyfield's quest for a share of the heavyweight crown ended in defeat as he was outpointed and outboxed by Chris Byrd for the vacant IBF heavyweight title.

Holyfield, 40, was unable to find his rhythm and said: "His punches kept me at bay. I wasn't able to be aggressive and he kept me off balance."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 16, 2002
Words:576
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