29 January 2010 – By Steve Wellings
British featherweight champion Martin Lindsay has revealed his satisfaction at taking on mandatory challenger Jamie Arthur in a neutral location on March 19.
Although the Belfast man would have preferred to be defending his belt in front of a home crowd, the Immaculata clubman believes that his dedicated away following could make all the difference in the Leigh Sports Centre.
I would have loved to have been fighting in Belfast, Lindsay admitted, but Frank Maloney is there to look after Jamie Arthur and Im not signed with anyone at the moment, so Im just happy to be fighting at a neutral venue.
Ill prepare accordingly for whatever happens and I have big support heading over with me to Leigh so Im expecting it to be a good night. Martin has been sparring with local fighters preparing for the Ulster and Irish Senior tournaments.
My main sparring partner is European Bronze medallist Eamonn OKane who, being a middleweight, pushes me to the limit, he said.
The further my preparations go along, the more Ill pick up the sparring.
Preparing under the scrutiny of coach Gerry Nugent in his west Belfast base, Lindsay is aware of the dangers that his hungry challenger may pose but explained that Nugent is taking care of the tactics come fight night.
To be honest I havent seen much of Jamie Arthur although my coach has the tape of him against Akaash Bhatia. Ill let Gerry study it and plan how to fight him. I didnt watch that much of Paul Appleby before our fight; again, I just left it to my coach to form a game plan.
I remember Jamie from the Commonwealth games and I know Im going to be in for a tough nights work. Hes the challenger and he feels hes under performed as a professional so hell want to give his best and try to win the British title.
I have to be at my best to stop him doing that, Lindsay admitted.
Jamie Arthur has amassed a 16-2 (4KO) record since turning pro off the back of a sparkling amateur career. The Newport man thought he had snared home advantage for this bout, before the change of location, and is coming off the back of a points win over Mickey Coveney. This followed a career-best verdict over Akaash Bhatia in an eliminator for a crack at Lindsay. The champion, however, has no such plans to relinquish his hard earned prize, Ive been ticking over since Christmas and I just take these things in my stride and deal with what happens at the time. The same thing happened with the Appleby fight because I had an injury and that was postponed.
Everythings going according to plan; the weights not too bad, concluded Lindsay.
Im only about seven or eight pounds over at the moment with seven weeks to go and my fitness is flying. I cant wait.