Edinburgh’s Paul Appleby faces a stern test tonight against the undefeated Scott Cardle on the Ricky Burns undercard.
The 26-year-old, Scotland’s youngest-ever British boxing champion when he defeated John Simpson in 2008, has switched to the lightweight division after fighting his previous two contests at light welterweight. He said: “I was on the weight last week. I’ve been training hard and putting the hard work in the gym. So yeah, lightweight is my natural weight to fight at.”
However, his debut at lightweight promises to be one of his most formidable challenges as Lancaster fighter Cardle, 24, arrives at Glasgow’s SECC undefeated from his 13 bouts since turning professional in 2012. “It’s a good test,” Appleby said. “He’s undefeated and if you’re undefeated you’re going to be hard to beat. But I’m ready and I’m going to be the first guy to beat him and take his unbeaten record away.”
WBC International Silver cruiserweight champion Stephen Simmons had to withdraw from the undercard after sustaining a broken rib during a sparring session almost four weeks ago. His bout with Wadi Camacho promised to be one of the fights of the night after the pair caused quite a stir at January’s press conference when tensions resurfaced from a heated exchange on Twitter.
However, promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed his intention to reschedule the fight when Simmons has recovered from injury.
The main event sees WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns make his first appearance since his controversial draw with Raymundo Beltran in September, a fight in which he sustained a broken jaw as early as the second round and required surgery immediately after.
Tonight’s opponent, American Terence Crawford, has won all 22 bouts since joining the pro circuit six years ago.