14 April 2009 – By Mark Doyle
British featherweight champion Paul Appleby is confident that he will have little trouble in dealing with the much-vaunted punching power of his next foe, Martin Lindsay.
Appleby and Lindsay will collide in a mouth-watering clash before the Setanta Sports cameras at the Ulster Hall in Belfast on April 25.
The 21-year-old Appleby, who won the title by outpointing John Simpson last June, is widely regarded as the most exciting young prospect in British boxing.
However, Lindsay – who, like Appleby, is undefeated – announced himself as a fighter of real potential by knocking out Derry Matthews with a stunning left hook in the ninth round of their meeting in September.
Appleby has an enormous amount of respect for Lindsay but does not believe that the 26-year-old Belfast native is capable of troubling him.
Derry Mathews wasnt the same fighter he once was, the champion said. I dont want to take anything away from Lindsay, but if he hits me with the same left hook I wont be going down. Im pretty confident of that.
Beating Lindsay in his own backyard will be my best win to date. Lindsay is rated really highly by a lot of people. I also rate him really highly. If I were to beat him it would be a brilliant achievement.
Lindsays a very good opponent. Im not saying hes the best opponent Ive faced because I havent actually boxed him yet but hes probably going to be right up there.
Hes got a really good record, has excellent technique and good skills. Im not sure whether hell be as tough as (John) Simpson, but I think hes definitely got more technique and skill.
I think, on paper, he may be a bit better than Simpson. But well find out once I start landing a few punches on him.
I need to hurt him early and hopefully put him down or stun him. Ill then get his respect and take over from that point.
Indeed, Appleby admitted that he would not be surprised if the fight went the distance. He had never fought 12 rounds up until his clash with Simpson, but after coming through that bout, and another 12-rounder against Esham Pickering in his first defence, the young Scot feels he has proven that he has the strength and stamina to engage in a gruelling war with Lindsay.
The first time I did the 12 rounds with Simpson, I wasnt actually sure Id be able to handle it beforehand. Sparring and punching bags are very different from actually going 12 hard rounds with an opponent,” he pointed out.
I was a little bit wary going into that fight. I was pretty tired in the ninth round, but after that I was fine. I got my second wind and got through to the end.
Ive seen Lindsay box a few times as a pro and Ive seen him lots in the amateurs. He doesnt waste a lot of punches and does everything for a reason.
I think hell cope with the 12 rounds fine, but I just wonder what hell be like when I start landing my shots. He got knocked down against Derry Mathews and I think I can do the same to him.