SOUTH QUEENSERRY’S Paul Appleby will use his Commonwealth title defeat to Liam Walsh as inspiration when he takes on Steven Ormond for the Celtic superfeatherweight crown tomorrow night.
Appleby, who faces the Dubliner on the undercard of Ricky Burns’ WBO lightweight title defence against Paulus Moses, lost his last bout after a tenth-round stoppage to Walsh in September last year but is determined to bounce back at Braehead Arena.
Appleby, a former British featherweight champion, said: “I should have finished Liam Walsh off when he crawled back up again in round seven but I just couldn’t find that one final shot. I actually gained a lot of confidence in defeat, though. I’ve watched the Walsh fight five times on tape and it makes me want to come back and win another title.”
Appleby has also been working with coaches John McCarron and Billy Nelson on new ring strategies by abandoning the reckless come-forward style that he acknowledges has cost him in previous fights. He said: “Billy and John have got my boxing back together and got me focused on technique and defence, which is what I need.’’
Meanwhile, Ormond is refusing to write off Appleby’s chances of springing an upset against him. He said: “Appleby showed how dangerous he is in his last fight against Liam Walsh so I have been taking him very seriously indeed. He’s a banger like me and will be strong in the early rounds so it will be an interesting fight.’’
Unbeaten Edinburgh cruiserweight Steve Simmons makes no bones about revealing his strategy against Birmingham warhorse Hastings Rasani, with whom ex-Leith Victoria star Simmons goes head-to-head over six rounds at Braehead.
“I’ve been tipped off that Rasani may come in against me with a big weight advantage and try to tire me by laying on me and denying me room to get off my shots at him so I’ve worked out a strategy in the gym to counter this based on heavy body punching – attacks on his ribs. I have to keep winning if I’m to achieve my ambition of boxing for a British cruiserweight title.”
Edinburgh light-middleweight John Thain is aiming to stretch his unbeaten record to six bouts against former Welsh amateur champion Joe Lovell over six rounds. “Lovell is unbeaten in all of his three pro bouts and has the reputation of being a tricky boxer,” said Thain. “But I’m really sharp after great sparring at the Lochend gym with leading amateur boxers like Josh Taylor and Lewis Benson.”