Alex Arthur has confirmed that he is not seeking a rematch with fellow Scotsman and newly crowned WBO interim lightweight champion Ricky Burns and will now officially move up to the light-welterweight division.
Back in February 2006 at the Meadowbank Sports Centre in his home city of Edinburgh, Arthur defended his European, Commonwealth and British super-featherweight titles against Burns via a unanimous decision points victory.
There has been talk of a rematch between the pair since the Coatbridge man captured and made three successful defences of the WBO super-featherweight title which was previously held by Arthur.
The speculation has intensified after Burns out-boxed Australian Michael Katsidis in London to make a big impact in his debut as a lightweight.
Arthur said: “I just want to state that I want to and would love to fight Ricky for the interim title but I am no longer capable of safely making lightweight.
“I lost my WBO super-featherweight title against Nicky Cook because I was dead at the weight having outgrown the super-featherweight ranks but still went ahead with the bout. I have learned from that mistake and do not want to repeat it.
“I actually wrote to my promoter Frank Warren last month regarding his plans for my next contest and stated in the letter that I was struggling at lightweight but would still like to face the winner of the Burns-Katsidis contest.
“However, with the advice I have been given, I now realise I should move up. It is a no win situation and my family, trainer Peter Harrison, conditioning coach and nutritionist are of the same opinion.
“I hope to return to the ring next year. Regardless of where my next fight takes place and who the opponent is, I will be entering the ring as a light-welterweight.”
Performance nutritionist expert Nikos Jakubiak is one member of Arthur’s team who is relieved at the move to the higher weight class.
Jakubiak said: “What has to be kept in mind is that Alex has weighed in for three of his last four fights at over ten stone.
“There isn’t enough fat in Alex’s body for him to lose so he would have to dehydrate himself to a degree where it would be a real risk to his health for him to box as a lightweight.
“I can’t see how Alex could provide a decent performance for the boxing fans as it would be impossible for him to perform the way he is capable of.”