Commonwealth superfeatherweight champion Liam Walsh admitted today that South Queensferry’s former British featherweight champion Paul Appleby will be a tough challenger when he defends his crown on September 30 against him at London’s York Hall venue in Bethnal Green.
“I’ve been studying Appleby for over a year now via watching DVD’s of his most important fights. He strikes me as being both a good boxer and puncher and also a fierce competitor which is all the more reason that I am training so hard just now for our clash later this month.
“You can tell a lot about boxers from studying their defeats and I’ve paid particular attention to Appleby’s fight with African Joseph Laryea when Appleby was beaten and lost his chance of a world title fight with Ricky Burns. But even then, I think that although he ran out of stamina against Laryea, Appleby showed enough to me to confirm that he will be a hard opponent to beat.
“I’ve boxed at the York Hall 11 times so far so I could claim to be boxing on my home patch but I don’t kid myself that fighting Appleby there will bring me any particular advantage because I know that he’s still hungry for suceess. Still, I have a good record against Scottish opponents as I beat [Gilmerton’s] Jason Hastie twice in the amateurs.”
Defending champion Walsh also knocked out Hastie’s opponent at Meadowbank last weekend, Johhny Greaves, in four rounds at the same Bethnal Green venue back in 2004.
And Gilmerton lightweight Hastie warned challenger Appleby: “Walsh is very strong, very fit and can box and dig hard, so think this will be a tough, interesting fight for Paull Appleby.”
Meanwhile, ex- British featherweight champion Appleby knows just how crucial his Commonwealth 9st 4 lbs title tilt against defending champion Walsh is, “My ambition is to beat Walsh then get returns with Joseph Laryea who spolied my chance of a world title fight with WBO champion Ricky Burns and Martin Lindsay, who took away my British featherweight title,” he said.
“I’ve been training hard at Billy Nelson’s gym and I’m up for this Walsh fight – he’s a good boxer – but then so am I, and I can’t wait until we finally fight on September 30 to prove that I’m the better man.”