Boxing: Arthur happy to be rid of invincible tag

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The Independent Online

The former British super-featherweight champion, Alex Arthur, claims he is relieved to have lost the aura of invincibility which he believes led to some people tagging him the "Tiger Woods of boxing".

The Edinburgh fighter enjoyed a rapid rise in the sport after moving up from the amateur ranks in November 2000, culminating in him becoming the British champion only two years later when he beat Steve Conway for the vacant title.

After winning 13 of his 16 fights by knock-out, many observers tipped Arthur to go all the way in his weight division until he sensationally lost his title to Michael Gomez in an explosive battle at Meadowbank Sports Centre last October.

However, Arthur insists that the shock defeat to the Mancunian might have been a blessing in disguise.

"I definitely thought it was just going to be a gradual climb to the top of boxing for me. Things were coming thick, fast and easy and I was one of the busiest champions in the UK, fighting once every two months and just hammering everybody that I came up against," Arthur said. "A lot of people were asking if I could ever get beat and some were making out that I was the Tiger Woods of boxing. That label was starting to become a little uncomfortable so the defeat against Gomez took a lot of pressure off me as well, which is definitely a good thing."

Arthur insists he has fully recovered from the fifth-round knock-out at the hands of Gomez and looks forward to resuming his career when he takes on an as yet unknown opponent at Meadowbank on 27 March.

"I'm feeling brilliant at the moment. It's more or less a fresh start for me - I'm back to where I was," Arthur said.

"I really don't care who the opponent is because my hunger levels have risen through the roof again and they're back to 110 per cent. Going into the Gomez fight they were 20 per cent. It was a good kick up the backside and it's helped me realise what kind of man I am."