By Phil D. Jay
Alex Arthur has come out to defend himself in the wake of claims by WBO super-featherweight champion Ricky Burns and trainer Billy Nelson that Arthur was supporting Englishman Nicky Cook at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Saturday night.
The 33 year-old has strenuously denied claims that he made ‘cut-throat’ gestures to Burns as he claimed at 90 second victory over Cook in farcical circumstances and has spoken out in his own defence.
"It's outrageous. I vehemently deny I have done anything wrong,” said Burns to The Daily Record.
"I love Scotland and won gold for the country at the Commonwealth Games. I'm a passionate Scot and wouldn't do anything against anyone from Scotland. I was delighted Ricky won.
"I have been accused of making a slit-throat gesture and shouting 'kill him'. But that slit-throat gesture is awful - I absolutely despise it.
"Ricky's trainer Billy Nelson knows that. I hate fighters who have done that.
"I was working for Sky and the cameras could have been filming me. Nobody else in the arena saw me make a gesture.
"Why would I be urging the Englishman to win it? It doesn't make sense. I am angry about this," Arthur explained.
Arthur claims he spoke to Burns after the first round bout, in which Cook, 31, retired with a back injury and nothing was mentioned by the Coatbridge fighter.
"I'm really disappointed because after the fight had finished Ricky shook my hand. Alex also came over to talk and so did his daughter.
"I had a lovely chat with her and she gave me a hug.
"If Ricky accused me why did he shake my hand after his ringside interview?
“Why did the manager's daughter come for a chat with me? It is ridiculous.
"This is about trying to make me look bad but I am not going to rise to it.
"I don't know what on earth they are trying to do or what they are trying to achieve by saying this."
Phil D. Jay covers the boxing scene for worldboxingnews.net