New WBC International Silver cruiserweight champion Stephen Simmons admitted he’s been overwhelmed by the response received since his unanimous points victory over Germany’s David Graf at Glasgow’s SECC on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old, from Edinburgh, walked out to a capacity crowd prior to Ricky Burn’s controversial draw in his WBO world lightweight title clash with Raymundo Beltran, the result meaning the Coatbridge-born fighter retained the belt.
However, there was little doubt Simmons had done enough to power his way to his second cruiserweight title in four months despite suffering a nasty cut above his left eye after clashing heads with his opponent early on. Simmons, from South Queensferry, revealed he has been feeling the effects of a fight that took a lot of strain on both his physical and mental state, but is now expecting bigger things to come his way and thanked fans for their messages and support.
He said: “A lot of people have been talking about me so it’s great to hear the panel’s comments and the guys from Sky Sports, but also my Twitter and Facebook have been going mad since I won. People have been saying I was the best fight of the night and it won’t be long until the arena will be my own and I will be headlining it, so it’s been an unbelievable 24 hours.
“He was a tough opponent and made me work but I always felt in control. My coach Danny Vaughan and I had been working on our game plan and we pretty much stuck to it.
“It’s a great title and a platform to build on. It obviously now gets me into the top 15 in the WBC world ratings and possibly end up fighting for a British or Commonwealth title – whatever it is I will train hard and be ready for it, but at this stage I’ve had no indication yet.
“I would definitely like another fight before the year is out, whether or not it is a title we will have to wait and see, but I want to get back in the ring.”
When questioned about the judges’ decision with regards to his compatriot Burns’ bout, Simmons said: “Too many people were asking me questions so my focus wasn’t really on the fight, but I did see the first six rounds or so and I didn’t think there was much in it.”
Paul Appleby also made a successful comeback after his year-long break from the sport with a tough victory against England’s Lee Connelly.
Appleby was making a return to competitive boxing for the first time since his defeat to John Simpson in June last year. He tweeted in the aftermath of his success: “Thanks for everyone’s support and messages. Glad to get that ring dust away, bring on the next fight.”