"I was five years old when my dad put a pair of boxing gloves on me, took me out into the back garden and hit me with a clean right hand, straight on the nose.”

It’s a memory that most would recall with horror.

Not Machlan Arthur, though.

“Most five-year-olds would, I’m pretty sure, have started crying straight away but I looked right at him and just kept going. It wasn’t a full-power punch from him, obviously, but it was a hard punch to hit a five-year-old with. Instead of getting upset, though, I just growled at him and kept on sparring. And that’s the moment when he realised I was serious about becoming a boxer.”

The punch was from no mere mortal, either.

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It was thrown by a former world champion and one of the most successful boxers this country has ever produced so it’s safe to say it was no tickle.

Arthur fondly remembers being on the receiving end of the punch, however.

After all, that was the moment all around him realised that his obsession with boxing was not, as so many had insisted, a phase but rather a passion hard-wired into him.

That Arthur has boxing genes should perhaps come as no surprise.

The 16-year-old was born in 2007, the year his father, Alex, won his only world title when he claimed the WBO super featherweight crown, to add to the Commonwealth Games gold medal plus the British, Commonwealth and European belts he’d already claimed.

For as long as he can remember, Arthur has been consumed by the thought of following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a boxing world champion himself.

“I don’t ever remember not wanting to do this, it’s always been boxing for me,” the Edinburgh teenager says.

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“Both my mum and dad say that it’s not like I started thinking about becoming a boxer at a certain age – literally since I could stand, I’ve known I wanted to do this sport. I had a Batman boxing bag in my back garden and as soon as I could walk, I’d go out and hit the bag.

“I’ve got drawings that I did when I was at nursery of me becoming world champion so I honestly think this is something that’s always been in me.

“The year I was born was the year my dad won his world title so I don’t know if that timing has anything to do with it – there was so much attention on my dad when I first came into this world so my whole life has been completely surrounded by boxing. So maybe that’s had an impact.”

Arthur has long been singled-out within the boxing scene as a prodigious and exceptional talent.

The youngest of three brothers, he’s the only one who showed an inclination as a child to become a boxer, although his eldest brother, Alex Jr, has recently picked up the gloves and forced his way into the Scotland squad.

That only one of the trio of brothers has any designs on emulating their father’s success though is likely much to do with the fact that Alex Sr had little, if any, desire to see his sons follow him into a world that he knows is unspeakably brutal and challenging.

But after much pestering, Alex capitulated and began taking his youngest son to the boxing gym, first at Leith Victoria, then Meadowbank and now, at his eponymous gym in Edinburgh’s city centre.

Arthur had his first fight at nine years old and having won multiple Scottish junior titles since then, was due to win his first Scotland vest this weekend but a questionable decision by Boxing Scotland has seen him dropped for not adhering precisely to their sparring schedule.

However, having already attracted the attention and plaudits of a raft of boxers and coaches in the professional ranks, including lauded trainer Adam Booth and former world champions Wayne McCullough and Anthony Crolla, it’s certain that international representation is on the horizon.

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It won’t come a moment too soon.

While most teenagers are still figuring out their path in life, Arthur is already living like a professional boxer.

Having left school to focus entirely on his sport, he has, by his own free will, eliminated everything in his life that could, in his opinion, hamper his efforts to reach the pinnacle of his sport.

On the face if it, it’s an unusual existence for a 16-year-old. But it’s a life that he’s witnessed his dad live and one that Arthur is entirely committed to.

“I’ve lived like a pro boxer for as long as I can remember. I train two or three times a day, and not light, easy training sessions – they’re one, two-hour sessions. “It’s many rounds, many miles and a lot of weights lifted and so while it isn’t easy, I know it’s what’s necessary and I know that because I’ve seen my dad do it,” he says.

“When you have such a big goal you don’t see things like going out as fun and you don’t see eating junk food as a treat, you just see it as something that can set you back from what you want to achieve.

“Last year, I was getting caught up in some things that a normal 15, 16-year-old would do but I don’t want to be a normal 16-year-old so this year, I’ve completely separated myself from everything and all I do is box.

“I know it might sound sad but it’s what I need to do because I don’t plan on half-a**ing this.”

Being coached by a parent is not always a success, as many parent-child partnerships within elite sport have proven.

But for Arthur, it would be unthinkable to be coached by anyone other than his father and they have developed a bond that has not only moulded Arthur as a boxer but also as a person.

The closeness of the pair is easy to spot and is something that Arthur believes is invaluable to have in his corner, along with the knowledge that his father has been there, done that and bought the T-shirt with regards to everything the world of boxing can throw at a fighter.

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“With my dad training me, there’s a lot of ups and downs. But we have a strong enough and mature enough relationship that when we feel we’re getting frustrated with one another, we know to be quiet and not react too quickly,” he says.

“To have the comfort of going back to your corner and having your dad there is massive.

“I’m very used to hearing criticism, or constructive criticism, from him because I don’t know anything different – it’s been like that my whole life. When he says things that are rough and are hard to hear, I know it must be right – I can’t feel sorry for myself, I have to listen because he’s achieved what I want to achieve.

“There’s so much trust between us.”

With Arthur’s father knowing exactly what it takes to become a world-class boxer, however, it means there’s no room for benevolence when it comes to training sessions.

As one particularly brutal sparring session not too long ago demonstrated.

“I’ve had a few full spars with my dad – he’s left me with a burst nose, a burst lip or a black eye at different times,” the teenager says.

“My brother took a video of us sparring one time; my dad hit me with a body shot and I crumbled and although I didn’t go down, I showed that he’d hurt me and he came after me – my face is covered with blood, I was wearing a white vest and it was completely stained with blood and in the video, you can see everyone’s face in the background in total disbelief.

“It was pretty crazy. But boxing’s a tough sport.”

At just 16 years old, Arthur still has some way to go before he fulfills his ultimate dream and is challenging for world titles.

Emulating his father’s achievements would, perhaps, be a daunting prospect for some.

But for Arthur, that would only be the beginning.

“Repeating what my dad’s done isn’t enough for me. I don’t want to win only one world title, I want to win multiple world titles and I want to be the best boxer this country has produced,” he says.

“I’ll turn pro when I’ve won a major championship in the amateurs. All eyes will be on me when I do that and so that’s when I know I’ll get a good contract.

“Whether it’s an Olympic gold, a world gold or a Commonwealth Games gold, that’s when I’ll make the move.

“I know what I want to do in this sport and I’m fully focused on achieving it.”