By Shaun Brown
He may have fallen at the second hurdle during the London 2012 Olympic Games, but former world champion Alex Arthur believes compatriot Josh Taylor should take great pride from his accomplishments.
“Everyone that knows Josh feels like he’s won because of the fact he qualified for the Games and the progress he made. It’s been a fantastic achievement for a boy from Prestonpans (in Arthur’s home city of Edinburgh),” said the former British, Commonwealth and European super featherweight champion when speaking to BoxingScene.
Arthur himself is cited as one of the primary reasons as to why Taylor got involved in boxing. “My training camp used to be at Meadowbank Stadium where Josh’s Mum used to work. He would come and watch during the school holidays and then eventually he started hitting the bags,” Arthur recalled.
“To see him in the Olympics, for everyone that knows him, was massive and when he got beat I felt like I got defeated myself. I’d like him to go up to 64kg now. He doesn’t belong at 60kg in my opinion, but it was the only way he was going to make the games. He’s also massive for the weight.”
Britain’s representative at the Men’s Lightweight (60kg) category fell short in the last 16 when losing out 15-10 to the number three seed and former world champion Valentino Domenico.
21-year-old Taylor was Scotland’s sole representative in the British boxing team and was hoping to emulate the heady heights of fellow Scot and amateur boxing legend Dick McTaggart. In the end a hesitancy to let his punches go and the veteran tactics of an opponent seven-years his senior proved to be the youngster’s downfall. Arthur however hopes that doesn’t deter him from staying amateur.
“I hope he does remain amateur,” said Arthur. “He’ll now get bigger funding because of what he’s achieved and with the maturing he’s still to do he will only get better. Plus as an amateur he’ll be fighting regularly, flying all around the world and living the life of riley.”