Boxing: Gomez hands out a beating to deny Arthur

Manchester's Michael Gomez caused an upset at the Meadowbank Stadium here last night by snatching the British super-featherweight crown from the local hero Alex Arthur in a fierce battle that ended in a fifth-round stoppage.

The unbeaten Scot was making the third defence of his crown and was looking to win the Lonsdale Belt outright. The 25-year-old holder of the WBA International title had made a big stride towards a world title with his eight-round demolition of Glasgow's Willie Limond in July. But, despite his confidence, he knew last night's fight would be a bigger test against the former WBU world challenger - a British super-featherweight champion and Lonsdale Belt owner. For the 26-year-old Gomez it was a make or break situation after he had threatened to retire if he failed to win. His desire showed.

He made a blistering start and rocked Arthur with a solid left, but the Scot fought back with a wry smile and range of good punches to finish strongly before the first bell. The busier Arthur soon got his jab going in the second and he threw Gomez's head back with a stinging left-and-right combination.

The challenger battled back with a flurry of his own punches in the third. He seemed to cut Arthur on the nose and eye who was relieved to hear the bell after a brutal bombardment.

Arthur had fallen into Gomez's gameplan by the next round, entering an all-out bloody war. Gomez was also bleeding, from his right eye, but the Mancunian again rocked the champion with another chilling right to the chin before the bell again saved the Scot.

He was not so lucky in the fifth, although the end after he had retaliated with a string of punches throughout which the Mancunian somehow stayed on his feet. Gomez recovered and got through with a stunning right to the chin to leave Arthur needing a count of eight. Although he made the next count of eight, it only delayed the inevitable as the referee stepped in to stop the fight.

On the undercard, the English heavyweight champion Matt Skelton sent out a message to Danny Williams and Audley Harrison with a third-round victory over Yugoslavia's Ratko Draskovic.

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