Lee McGregor and Kash Farooq both proved they are world class, says Alex Arthur

Kash Farooq and Lee McGregor
Lee McGregor (right) beat Kash Farooq on points

New British bantamweight champion Lee McGregor and opponent Kash Farooq have proved they can go on to box for a world title, says Alex Arthur.

But, after a controversial split decision, the former world champion has warned McGregor that his battle to make the weight will "affect him severely".

Arthur says he has been flooded with messages from people in the boxing world, who all thought Farooq had won.

"Both these lads are phenomenal talents," Arthur told BBC Scotland.

"They are both world-class fighters who just happen to come from the same country and they just happen to fight at the same weight. Neither of those boys deserved to lose that fight."

Arthur scored the fight in the local man's favour at Glasgow's Emirates Arena in what he regards as "one in the top 10 fights I've ever seen live".

"What a spectacle," said the former super-featherweight champion. "It was unbelievable. I was speechless. It was phenomenal.

"What I saw was Kash pressing the action, he threw more punches, he had the more variety of punches and landed the cleaner shots overall. He looked the guy who was in control of the fight for me."

The battle took its toll on both Scottish boxers, with 23-year-old Farooq heading to hospital for stitches on a cut below an eye and Edinburgh's McGregor, who is a year younger, also having a scan for a hand injury.

It is the longer-term implications for McGregor that concern Arthur, who said: "It looked like Lee had had a difficult time to get down to the fight weight and he looked very gaunt and drained.

"He's a big fellow for that weight. What he does have going for him is youth and you can do that when you are a little bit younger. But, as you get older, it slows your career down. It actually takes years off you really and, if you continue to do it until your late 20s/early 30s, it affects you severely."

Arthur admitted that the added "mass and size did help him" absorb punches on the night to secure an eighth consecutive win as a professional.

"Some of those shots that Kash caught Lee with, if he had caught a regular bantamweight with those shots, he wouldn't have lasted very long at all," he suggested. "Because some of those punches were thudding.

"When Kash has been up against normal bantamweights, he's taken them out relatively quickly - they can't really take his power."

Arthur thinks Farooq will recover despite losing an unbeaten record that ran for 14 fights.

"The world's his oyster in terms of boxing," he added. "I've had messages from all kind of people in boxing this morning saying they thought Kash Farooq won that fight, so that will spread quite quickly in the world of boxing and people will probably realise that there's a potential world champion just along the road in Glasgow."

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