Martin Lindsay v John Simpson: revisited

Time moves quickly in boxing with the career of fighters flying by. One minute boxers are at the top of their sport, fighting in front of big crowds, earning big money, and winning big fights. In the blink of an eye, it’s all over. Boxing fans are guilty of moving on, sometimes just a little too quickly. The gladiator that was once a star becomes just another face in the crowd. 

One fighter – and fight – stuck in our minds and on the 11-year anniversary, we thought it was worth revisiting the thriller that was Martin Lindsay v John Simpson. The biggest and best known fight of 2010? Not even close, but for lovers of UK and Irish boxing this was one bout that took some forgetting. Two throwback fighters putting it all on the line for the beautiful Lonsdale title. Two men fighting not only for glory but for some much needed cash just a few weeks before Christmas.

The fight had it all – drama, excitement, a tight scorecard, and the kind of big fight upset fans love. Lindsay v Simpson won’t be talked about often in the mainstream media, boxing has moved on from then. Let’s roll back the years.

Lindsay held an unbeaten record

Martin Lindsay entered the 18th bout of his professional career with a stunning 17-0-0 unbeaten record. The man from Belfast was tearing through the featherweight division and there looked to be no stopping him. He had already beaten Paul Appleby inside six rounds and Derry Mathews in nine. He was destined for bigger and better things. 

All Lindsay had to do was beat Scotland’s Simpson in the kind of impressive style that was expected of him, and he would be fast-tracked to major honours. There was no telling how far he could go; European, world title level? Mac Man had the sport in the palm of his hands. Bettors checking out the Livescore bet review knew he was available at short odds to win, priced like losing wasn’t an option. Many believed it wasn’t possible.

Simpson was no soft touch

Team Lindsay knew Simpson was no soft touch. The Greenock man was as tough as nails and a former British champion himself. He had come up the hard way, fighting away from home, defending his titles from the away corner and he had sprung the odd surprise or two along the way. Simpson was an unpredictable sort, both inside and outside of the ropes, often taking his prize money and disappearing for weeks on end, enjoying the high life. His love for a party was an open secret in boxing but he was notoriously difficult to stop. 

He was Clyde-build, forged from the steel of the bleak shipbuilding town he calls home. And he proved it that night at the Kings Hall in Belfast, silencing an arena that was packed to the rafters with Lindsay supporters. The visiting fighter had been written off by all, a rank outsider with the bookies, but did he listen? John Simpson never paid much attention to the expectations of others. He was a fighter that didn’t do things by the book. He did it his way.

Scotsman upsets the odds

John Simpson’s career is littered with painful results. The judges often went against him when it looked obvious the fighting man deserved victory. He was also responsible for a few shock results, beating Andy Morris, Ryan Barrett, Paul Appleby, Paul Truscott, and the feared Mongolian warrior Choi Tseveenpurev. He added the scalp of Martin Lindsay to his belt that evening.

With both men evenly matched after the opening few rounds, Simpson found another gear. He set an explosive pace, constantly working his opponent back and hurting him to the body. The crowd were shocked but few inside the arena, including Lindsay, could grudge the all-action John Simpson his unanimous points decision. Where is John Simpson now? It’s rather fitting the former British champion works in the shipbuilding trade, an industry of hard working men putting their bodies on the line daily

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: