Boxing: Arthur's title credentials put in doubt by ferocious Foster

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The Independent Online

Scotland's Alex Arthur, who aspires to be Britain's eighth world champion next year, almost had his dream dashed in his home town of Edinburgh last night, coming perilously close to losing his WBO Interim super-heavyweight belt at the hands of Stephen Foster Jnr.

Arthur was floored in the 11th round by a massive overhand right which sent him crashing through the ropes. The Scot's ring-name is "Amazing" but what really was amazing is that he somehow managed to beat the count and go on to a close but unanimous points victory.

Hot-foot from Las Vegas, Ricky Hatton was at ringside to cheer on his Manchester mate Foster who, in an epic contest, had himself been felled by a Hatton-type left hook to the liver in the ninth.

Foster's aggression had troubled Arthur throughout the fight but it was lucky that Arthur had amassed a sufficient points lead to ensure victory.

Arthur was clearly troubled at having to make the 9st 4lb limit and admitted "I was not happy with my performance. I don't know what on earth I was playing at. I just wasn't up for it."

He will certainly have to do better if he is to acquire the authentic title from Joan Guzman but it is likely that the Dominican, who has until February to meet him, will move up a weight division, giving Arthur the title by default.