Scotland’s youngest ever British boxing champion, Paul Appleby, will reunite himself with the sport that propelled him to stardom on the Ricky Burns undercard a week on Saturday.
The former super-featherweight British champion, who hails from South Queensferry, hasn’t been seen in the ring since losing to John Simpson last June, a defeat that forced the 26-year-old to take stock of his career and announce he was taking an indefinite break from competitive boxing.
However, after having regular training sessions with former coach Terry McCormack at Lochend Boxing Club over the past four months, Appleby feels re-energised and ready to make his mark once again.
Recalling those dark moments when his promising career stalled somewhat, Appleby admits he simply fell out of love with the sport and that the thrill of putting on his gloves no longer proved motivational.
He said: “I just needed a break – it was as simple as that. I wasn’t enjoying myself and needed time to think what to do, but I always knew I’d come back. I wanted to take six months out but ended up taking longer. I needed the break.
“My training was not going as I had planned and if you are not fit then you aren’t ready to fight. I wasn’t enjoying it and hated travelling every day as I was through in Glasgow – it was a bit of a nightmare to be honest. I was doing a bit of running here and there and some training with my brother but since I went back to Terry it’s been brilliant.
“I used to train there a few years ago so I’ve gone back and it’s been amazing. I’m really enjoying it all again.”
Appleby admits he regrets his decision to accept the fight with Simpson at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow 14 months ago, but he is now fully focused on enjoying a bright future in the ring, starting with his bout on September 7 at the SECC.
“I only had five or six weeks’ notice for the fight against Simpson,” he explained. “The weight has always been a problem because I’m so big for the level I am competing at – I need at least ten weeks to make the weight comfortably.
“I probably would have continued if I had won but I still wouldn’t have been happy within myself.
“I would have been doing it all for the wrong reasons because if you’re not happy with what you are doing, then there is no point in doing it.
“I’ve been training away and waiting for an opportunity. Alex Morrison said to me there was space to fight on the show, so I am delighted to be on such a big stage for my comeback fight. I can’t wait to get back in the ring. I’m confident and not nervous at all and I know I’ll win whoever I face.”
Appleby will be moving up weight divisions in a bid to counteract the strain he previously endured attempting to make super-featherweight.
He will fight his opponent, who is yet to be named, at light-welterweight before embarking on his new career in the lightweight division.
He added: “I feel better because I am moving up a few weights and feel stronger so I don’t need to kill myself trying to make the weight all the time.
“I think I am only doing six rounds but I’d be more than capable of going for ten or 12 rounds.”