Arthur vs Faraci Preview
By Oliver McManus
Lyndon Arthur, the WBO’s #1 ranked light-heavyweight contender, is back in action this Saturday night in defense of his Inter-Continental belt. The 30 year old faces Davide Faraci at Royal Albert Hall in what, at the time of writing, is slated as a ten round contest.
We last saw the Lancashire light-heavy in action last December when he, pretty comfortably, edged out Anthony Yarde over twelve rounds. Scorecards of 115-114 (x2) in his favour and an abhorrent 117-111 the way of Yarde don’t paint the picture of the contest by any stretch of the imagination.
On that night Arthur was able to control proceedings thanks to an imposing jab that prevented Yarde from establishing a foothold in the contest. There were bright sparks from Yarde and a couple of spells where he looked to have Arthur in trouble but, by and large, they were a light burst of momentary interruption to Arthur’s flurry of quality.
Since then King Arthur has been vocal in his desire to face off with Joe Smith Jr (who became WBO champ in April with a majority decision win over Maxim Vlasov). Saturday night is an opportunity for the 30 year year old to consolidate his #1 ranking with the governing body: in doing so Arthur faces the first undefeated opponent of his career.
As an amateur Davide Faraci worked as an automation engineer whilst representing his birth country of Switzerland. Between 2007 and 2013 Faraci won seven national titles – at junior and senior level – at lighter weights before moving to light-heavyweight and being runner-up in both 2014 and 2015.
Faraci is now based in Italy but managed by Toni Barbera in a move that has seen the 29 year old box as a professional largely back in Switzerland. He inked a pro contract in 2016 and has moved to an unblemished 15-0 since; Faraci hasn’t boxed since the beginning of the pandemic with his last contest being an eight rounder in February 2020.
Lyndon Arthur will undoubtedly be the biggest test of the Italian national champion’s career but it’s the sort of contest Faraci has been chasing. He became Italian champion in June 2019 with a stoppage victory over Nicola Ciriani – a bigger man and former titleholder at cruiserweight – and backed that up with a technical decision over Vigan Mustafa just six months later.
Faraci’s best victory, arguably, was that contest in February 2020 against Emre Cukur. Cukur, a southpaw from Munich, was 14-0 going into the bout, an EBU-EU-EE (that catchy title) belt holder, and had looked relatively good up until that stage. Faraci outpointed Cukur, pretty easily, over eight rounds.
All signs, however, point to this being yet another chance for Lyndon Arthur to showcase that classy, classy jab of his. Expect him to box Faraci’s head off.