“Everyone does things for money, apart from me and apart us,” said trainer Pat Barrett.
The Manchester trainer, a former European champion and world title challenger, coaches 18-0 light-heavyweight contender Lyndon Arthur who meets 15-0 Italian Davide Faraci at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night.
Arthur is the Commonwealth champion and he also holds the WBO Inter-Continental belt, and while he’s knocking on the door of a world title fight after defeating Anthony Yarde last time out, Barrett won’t be rushed with his 30-year-old talent.
Pat continued: “There’s three things that money can buy and they’re love, respect and trust, and with the team and the relationship that me and Lyndon have got, we’ve got it all. We’ve got love, respect and trust and all the money in the world can’t buy that.”
Barrett was trained by Brian Hughes, a Cus D’Amato-type in British boxing, highly-principled, clever, thoughtful and a man who looked at all aspects of the sport, including the importance of the psychological game.
Barrett employs those same methods and ideologies, so for those concerned that Arthur might be looking beyond Faraci, Barrett says there’s no chance.
“All fights get his [Lyndon’s] juices flowing or else we wouldn’t be here,” Barrett went on. “We take every fight seriously because one slip could end your career. Each fight is a world title fight, each title defence you have is a step closer because Lyndon has defended the Commonwealth three times and there are levels… If you watch the levels, Emmanuel [Anim] was the first one, [Lyndon] showed great boxing ability, we went through a rough time in the fight where he got caught with good shots, he came back and he outboxed him. That was his first real test, his first step up, his first 12-rounder. Second time, he boxed [Dec] Spelman he showed it with ease. He boxed, he was beautiful defensively, using the jab, counterpunching, fighting off the ropes, and then against Yarde he damaged his right hand and he showed resilience and if you stick and believe in what you’re doing your left jab will get you through the fight. A lot of fighters would have wanted to get pulled out in that fight, fighting someone with 20 knockouts in 21 fights and you’re doing that with one hand. They would have gone back to the corner and said, ‘Coach, pull me out. My arm’s gone.’ But a good left jab, and if you know how to use your tools and equipment in boxing, as Brian Hughes told me, you can win a fight with just your left hand. He’d damaged his right hand and he won the fight with just a jab.”
The idea was for Yarde to box on the same show this weekend but his fight with the injured Emin Atra fell through earlier in the week but Arthur-Yarde II is not Barrett’s priority.
“In life, what do you do, do you go forwards, or do you go back?” he asked rhetorically.
“There is no money in the fight for us. I turned down more money to fight for an eliminator for the world title so Lyndon can defend his WBO title because when he’s ready for a world title, I’ll say he’s ready for a world title. “Right about now, we are still in our learning curve.”
Yarde was a cautionary tale, about having learning fights before going for the big one. His gamble against Sergey Kovalev nearly came off, but it didn’t happen for the Londoner and he was stopped in Russia.
Barrett, explaining Arthur’s trajectory, continued: “Defending his WBO is another step closer to the world title. “You need experience and we’re learning. Anthony Yarde fought a fading Kovalev for the WBO and got beat, because he jumped the gun. He’d not been at the British level, he’d not been on the European level, he’d not been on the Commonwealth level, they fought straight for the world title. Assumption is the mother to all f--- ups.”
Barrett won’t gauge Arthur’s success on fighting for a world title, but by winning one, and that means timing is important, making sure that when the opportunity comes Arthur is in the best place to capitalize upon it.
“This is a step behind a world title,” Barrett continued, discussing the Faraci bout. “He defends his WBO and he knows he’s fighting an undefeated kid, not many people do that but we don’t dodge, we don’t duck… When he fights for a world title, he’ll win a world title. If he doesn’t get passed Saturday, that means he’s not ready. He gets passed Saturday, he’s more than ready. I can’t overlook him [Faraci] and jump into the future.”
Arthur is the WBO’s No. 1 and rated in the top 10 by the WBC and the IBF. He’s in a division with numerous domestic rivals, including Yarde, Callum Johnson and Joshua Buatsi, but he will go at his pace, when he is ready.
“This is very close to the world title,” said Barrett of this weekend’s contest at the Royal Albert Hall. “These type of kids bring out the best of Lyndon, he’ll rise to what he’s in with. He’s fighting a 15-0 kid and he’s more than ready. You’ll see the best of Lyndon.”