Manchester hero Anthony Crolla is backing Lyndon Arthur to win the IBO world title and set the stage for a series of higher profile light heavyweight showdowns.
Arthur takes on Argentina’s explosive Braian Nahuel Suarez at the University of Bolton Stadium, on Friday, live and free-to-air on Channel 5 from 10pm, in association with Ladbrokes, Numan and Infinitium Entertainment.
Crolla picked up the mantle left by the legendary Ricky Hatton to become a much-loved world champion from the proud fighting city and flag bearer for boxing in Manchester - and he now believes it’s ‘King’ Arthur’s time to step into the spotlight.
Arthur, a product of the famous Collyhurst and Moston ABC, has been told by Crolla to seize his IBO world title chance this week and then use the belt to bring some of the UK’s leading 175 lbs fighters to the negotiating table.
“Some unbelievably big names in boxing have held an IBO belt - Klitschko and Golovkin to name just two - and Lyndon having the light heavyweight title acts as a bargaining tool to land those really big fights. That’s why Friday night is such a huge opportunity,” said Crolla, the former WBA lightweight king.
“Light heavyweight is one of the best divisions we have domestically, if not the best. There are five or six fighters in this country who are world class and Lyndon can claim to be among them. He has that ability and holds that win over Anthony Yarde. Lyndon has world class ability but it is now about proving it on Friday night, and a win will put him right in the picture for some huge fights.”
Crolla, like the brilliant ‘Hitman’ Hatton before him, etched his name into British boxing folklore by headlining a number of emotionally charged nights at the Manchester Arena.
And ‘Million Dollar’ has thrown his weight behind Arthur being the man to deliver the next series of must-see fights in his home city.
“Lyndon can absolutely deliver massive nights of boxing to Manchester,” he said.
“I like how Wasserman are building him again, keeping it local in a great venue at Bolton - I love it there - but with the plan that, one day soon, he can go to the Manchester Arena. He’s got the talent and the IBO belt will be a bargaining tool to land those big Arena fights.”