Lyndon Arthur on being an inspiration ahead of rematch with rival Anthony Yarde

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Lyndon Arthur one day wants to reward his mum for putting him on the right road with a big house and a nice car.

But now he is the one showing troubled teens the path from the streets to success.

Arthur, 30, can’t help but be a role model for the youth of Moston in Manchester.

It was 10 days out from his light-heavyweight rematch with Anthony Yarde, which takes place on Saturday night at the Copper Box in London, when we spoke at Collyhurst and Moston ABC.

It is an ageing building but it is so vital to one of Manchester’s most deprived areas.

Arthur had just completed eight rounds on the pads in the back room before finishing off with two more on the punch bag in the main gym.

But he has been joined by a group of school children, who are being put through their paces by one of the volunteer club members.

It is one of the many projects the boxing club does to help the local community.

Arthur is watching and he notices one of the students not doing as told.

“Are you a superstar?,” says the unbeaten light-heavyweight. The response is confused with a sense of fear.

“No,” says the kid eventually.

Arthur responds with: “Well, then why aren’t you doing it like everyone else?”

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He may be putting the final preparations for a fight that could land him a world title shot and he may have the ring moniker of ‘King’, but Arthur doesn’t walk around like boxing royalty in this gym.

The Manchester fighter knows all too well that wayward kids need boxing clubs like this and guidance from their elders.

In a recent interview, he spoke candidly about the death of his brother, Zennen, who was shot dead at 27, just down the road from the family home.

Arthur was just 10 at the time. It has made him ‘numb to pain’. Yet his story is inspiring so many that he feels the love.

“I am a product of my environment,” said the Commonwealth champion.

“I get a lot of messages from people on Instagram saying I’m an inspiration.

“When I did an interview that went out on Frank Warren’s social media pages, I was speaking honestly about my brother and I got a lot of positive messages back.

“But I am just talking about what has happened in my life, to me it is normality.

“Yet it is inspiring people. It is a great thing that I can do that. I’m a product of Moston and not many people come out of Moston and do well.

“Normal for a lot of people in this area is trouble.

“It’s a lot easier to do jail, to do s*** stuff than do positive stuff and be successful.

“It is easier to be successful from illegal activities than it is to be career driven.”

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Arthur admits to being a ‘hard-headed’ teenager who looked destined to go down the wrong path, though.

He remembers leaving his mum, Pauline, petrified when he would go out at night and not come home, or often when he did return it would be with blood on his t-shirt from fighting in the streets.

Other times he would be stinking of weed.

It led to her seeking the help of former British and European champion Pat Barrett, Arthur’s cousin and now trainer, to get him to a boxing club.

He was picked up off the street where his brother was killed and put in a gym in his late teens.

The pair have been on the boxing journey ever since, in the same Collyhurst and Moston Lads Club where Barrett is portrayed on the wall alongside the gym's iconic founder Brian Hughes and the club’s current amateur coach and former fighter Tommy McDonagh.

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“There were times I was probably a little c***,” said Arthur.

“It was just me being me, I was a hard-headed teenager. I didn’t want to listen to anyone.

“I thought I knew best but my mum has always been there.

“I don’t think I’ve had a hard life, but it was s*** things happening in a normal life. But it has paved the way for what is happening now.

“I can only be grateful for my mum for bringing me up how she has done, for being the person that she is.

“I think she’s thankful boxing has given me this life. She is my biggest fan. She is a proud woman and she is proud of me.

“My ideal outcome would be to be able to buy her a big house eventually somewhere and a nice car, whatever she wants.

“That is my motivation to win this fight, to go get the world title and the money that comes with all that.

“It’s another step in the direction of me becoming successful.”

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Arthur, like he has for every training camp in his previous 19 fights, has prepared in Manchester.

Yet despite being at home, there are still sacrifices to be made. In return more motivation.

Arthur is a father of two, but founds it tough to keep away from son Elellveay, 7, during training camp.

“He’s a kid, he wants to play football all the time, he wants to play PlayStation,” said Arthur.

“It’s not fair if I’m around him and I’m being boring.

“I can’t go out into the street and play football with him. I need to rest between training sessions. I need to be around myself.

“If I’m around my son I have to do something with him, I have to play with him and he shouldn’t see me when I am like that. It is best I don’t see him now, I don’t want him to resent me.

“I want to be a role model, I want to be his hero. I want to be successful, to make him want to be successful.

“I want him to follow in my footsteps. I don’t think he’s too interested in boxing which I’m glad because I don’t want him to box.

“When I say I want him to be successful, I want to be successful in life.”

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If unbeaten Arthur comes out of Saturday as a success then he will have two wins over British rival Yarde after he outpointed the Londoner just 12 months ago.

The winner has been promised a crack at a world title next year.

Another British light-heavyweight, Callum Johnson, is set to get a shot at American’s WBO champion Joe Smith Jnr in January and Arthur has his targets set on the winner.

“I’d love to go to America and fight but if Callum Johnson wins it, that would be great,” he said.

“I think I would beat him in a great all-British fight but let them go punch two holes in each other and then I’ll have the winner.

“If I didn’t think I could be a world champion then I wouldn’t do it.”

Arthur would be a hero in a sporting sense if he achieves it. Yet to many he is already one.

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