LYNDON ARTHUR was made to work hard for this unanimous victory by late stand-in Boris Crighton, who was drafted in to fight just 30 hours before the first bell.

Manchester man Arthur is still rebuilding following his crushing four-round defeat to Anthony Yarde back in December 2021 but he is desperate to get himself back in world title contention as part of a bustling British light-heavyweight scene.

The 31-year-old had been set to face Braian Suarez for the IBO title on this show in Bolton, broadcast live on Channel 5 in the UK, but when the visiting Argentinean failed his pre-fight medical a new opponent was needed.

Crighton, who had been preparing for a fight next month, was in the middle of a yoga session in his hometown of Aberdeen, Scotland on Thursday when he got the call to step in at the latest of notice. He did not hesitate to accept the offer and immediately left his home with his girlfriend driving him south to Bolton.

Crighton and Arthur are no strangers to each other having sparred a lot during 2020 and 2021 and it was a cagey start between two men who clearly already know each other well.

Arthur was routinely firing out his trademark jab to dictate the distance and pace but it was very rarely landing with any real conviction. For such a late stand-in, Crighton was sharp, focused and seemingly happy to stay out of trouble for as long as possible.

And it was the visitor who made the first real breakthrough of the fight, landing a winging right hand in the third which momentarily stiffened Arthur’s legs and sent him back towards the ropes. Crighton jumped in with a follow-up barrage but missed with a big uppercut and Arthur was able to regain his composure.

After that wake-up call, Arthur began to find his groove and was by now unsheathing his long right hand which was starting to have some success behind the ramrod jab. Even so, it was not exactly pretty through six but you could tell Arthur was in control despite some zealous attacks from Crighton.

He began to up the pace and workrate in the eighth and more right hands opened up a cut beneath Crighton’s left eye. It only provided Arthur with a target for more. The ninth was a big one for Arthur too, with Crighton by now unable to spot the right hand coming. Even so it was the visitor who finished the round in the ascendancy.

But it did not last long as Arthur turned the screw once again in the 10th, piling on the pressure and spearing more right hands straight down the pipe. And, with less than 10 seconds left on the clock, he added a sheen to the scoreline by finally dropping Crighton.

He was up in time to beat the count and the bell to end the fight had sounded well before referee Howard Foster had finished it anyway. It meant the judges were required and it was no surprise when they delivered a unanimous decision. 

“I’ve sparred him a few times so I know he’s tricky,” Arthur said of Crighton afterwards. “But he only came in yesterday so it was a totally different fight to what I was expecting.

“It was a good fight and a good 10 rounds for me before a bigger fight for me next.

“It is what it is. I’ll get back in the gym straight away and keep trying to progress. It’s great for me so I’m happy.”

Arthur is now expected to fight for the vacant IBO light-heavyweight title in May.