Lyndon Arthur returned from defeat by the WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol with a split-decision victory over Liam Cameron in Bolton.

The pair shared a hard-fought contest and it seemed Arthur was a worthy winner. Although judge Steve Gray scored it 95-93 to Cameron, he was overruled by two scorecards of 95-93 and 97-91.

Arthur, aged 33, is now 24-2 (16 KOs), and Sheffield’s Cameron is 23-6 (10 KOs). They topped the bill at the Bolton Whites Hotel.

Arthur had missed the weight, coming in almost a pound over the light-heavyweight limit he fought Bivol at in 2023 and opted not to shift it before the fight. 

The Mancunian looked sharper from the start and he drew blood from Cameron’s nose in the opening round but his Sheffield counterpart had success behind his right in the second, throwing it to the head and body. Arthur, however, crashed in occasional rights of his own and began to land some left hooks to Cameron’s body.

Cameron was on the backfoot, and waiting to see out the round, and he threw a left to the body on the bell to end the second round. 

In retaliation, Arthur let another right go, and it connected. Cameron then seemed to initially protest at the lateness of the punch before belatedly falling to the deck. 

The referee Howard Foster sent Cameron back to his own corner, but Cameron was unsteady on his legs as he made the walk back. 

Before the third round started, Foster took a point from Arthur for that late shot, and Arthur became more aggressive as a consequence, as he demonstrated when landing an eye-catching left hook.

Cameron had his moments through engaging sessions in the third and fourth. But he spent early moments in the next hanging in there while Arthur working behind a tidy double jab and let both hands go in combination. Cameron smiled, and while his nose still pumped blood, Arthur was by then marked beneath both eyes.

Cameron had a point deducted in the sixth for rabbit punching, and he was also bleeding from a cut by his right eye. There were signs of trouble for him in the seventh – a session in which he spent much of the time giving ground – but he wasn’t short on courage, and he finished it by pinning Arthur on the ropes and trying to tee off, but landing nothing of consequence. 

Arthur’s jab was a key weapon, but he’d also been bringing in his right uppercut into play.

They embraced ahead of the final round. Arthur landed a crunching right hand; Cameron tried to make Arthur come to him and catch him on the way in, but he took another right and Cameron celebrated hearing the final bell. He had been beaten, even though, as the heavy underdog, he had given it a good shot.

Arthur, in his past fight, had lost to Bivol in Saudi Arabia in December and his only other defeat was by Anthony Yarde, who was avenging an earlier loss to him.  

Cameron has been on a journey. A talented former ABA champion, he missed four years of his career after testing positive for a recreational drug and it didn’t look like the now 33-year-old would return. Arthur was the fourth fight in his comeback, but represented a significant jump in class and, as it turned out, a jump too far.

“It was a subpar performance,” said Arthur. “I think I did win just about but fair play to Liam. Maybe I misjudged the weight a little bit. I got the W. That’s all that matters.”

Wickford’s featherweight prospect Tom Welland dropped Argentina’s Alejandro Farias in round two on his way to a four-round 40-35 victory. Welland is now 5-0 (2 KOs), Farias is 3-3.

Welland was in charge early on but got drawn into an exchange in the first round and he shipped some punishment.

In the second, with Farias happy to come forward, the visitor walked into a left hook and was dropped. 

Still, Farias retained his ambition but soaked up a solid right to the body in the third and Welland, only 19 years old, fired in several blows to the body and topped it off with a left hook upstairs that again caught Farias’ attention.  

Their heads clashed a couple of times in the fourth and final round, and Farias was cut on the left side of his head, but Welland maintained the upper hand throughout. 

The dangerous Kazak junior lightweight Sultan Zaurbek improved to 18-0 (13 KOs) with a first-round stoppage of the 22-5-2 (10 KOs) Argentinian Roman Ruben Reynoso.

Matty Harris, the heavyweight from Leamington Spa, dropped Yury Bykhautsou, from Belarus, twice and stopped him in round two.

Bykhautsou is now 10-31-3 (5 KOs). Harris is 7-1 (5 KOs).

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