Former WBO super featherweight champion Alex Arthur reckons an all-Scottish showdown between Ricky Burns and Josh Taylor is a genuine prospect this year.
Edinburgh boxer Taylor maintained his unblemished record with an eighth straight win over Alfonso Olvera in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The Commonwealth super lightweight champion’s promoter Barry McGuigan has made no secret of the fact that he wants to get WBA title holder Burns and the highly-rated Taylor in the ring during 2017.
And the retired Arthur, who inflicted Burns’ first defeat at Meadowbank in 2006, insists a match-up between the pair would capture the imagination of the Scottish boxing public.
Arthur said: “I don’t think Ricky would have stopped that guy Josh fought the other night either.
“I still think Josh fighting Ricky is a reasonably good match to make this year. I’m not saying Josh is ready for it right now.
“I don’t think it’s a ridiculous match up, especially later this year. It’s certainly one that the Scottish fans would love to see.
“If I was told Josh was fighting Ricky Burns in November or December this year, I certainly think it would be something I would pay to go and watch on the basis that it would be a really good fight.”
Arthur, who watched Taylor’s points victory from afar at the weekend, added: “I honestly believe if Josh had boxed that guy over here he probably would have stopped him in two or three rounds.
“What people don’t take into consideration as well is that Vegas is pretty high, it’s around 2,000 feet above sea level.
“I lived in Vegas for about a year as my trainer Wayne McCullough was out there and it took me in the region of two to three months before I was able to perform 12 rounds in the gym in terms if sparring.
“You also have to take into account the occasion, it’s probably the biggest arena in the world for boxing.
“He was a vey ungainly character, he was clearly very tough – he had a good chin and he could take a body shot well.”
Taylor stopped Dave Ryan after five rounds at Meadowbank last October to claim the Commonwealth belt and Arthur expects the 26-year-old to pursue the British title next.
He added: “The competition is Britain is very good. I think he would love to fight for a British title, everybody loves the Lonsdale belt.
“Having the British and Commonwealth certainly propels you a wee bit faster towards the bigger names. I would imagine he would definitely want to go for the British title.”