16 December 2010 – Cormac Campbell
Martin Lindsays Kings Hall dream turned into a nightmare on Wednesday night as rugged Scotsman John Simpson ripped the British featherweight title from the Belfastman following 12 gruelling rounds.
Simpson deservedly took the Lonsdale belt but Lindsay will be left ruing the tactics he employed on his big night. For when he elected to box he was on top, when he chose to brawl he was playing into Simpsons unrelenting hands.
Asides from a nick over the right eye and a wobble that was more to do with balance than being hurt Lindsay was unable to impose any sort of dent on the marauding Scot. Indeed, Simpson continued to march forward, with Lindsays hooked bombs simply bouncing off him.
Lindsay started the fight well, picking his shots well and keeping Simpson on the outside and at times off balance. In the third round Lindsay elected to step things up and engage on the inside a decision that would ultimately lose him the fight, his title and his unbeaten record. Returning fire, Simpson came alive in the fourth leaving Lindsay looking a bit flustered. In the fifth the home favourite returned to boxing, cutting Simpson to the right eye.
But in the sixth a large swelling began to develop over the Mac Mans right eye. From this point the fight was a give and take brawl something that was incredibly entertaining for the neutral observer but for Lindsays legion of fans it was the point when genuine concern set in.
There was little doubt that Lindsay was landing the bigger, cleaner bombs shots that would have stopped most other top line fighters but it has always been Simpsons ability to soak up a shot and continue punching that has made him a contender. So whilst Lindsay may have been landing the quality, Simpson was landing the quantity. Whats more, Simpsons shots were hurting Lindsay more than Lindsays Simpson.
At times Lindsay went back to boxing with considerable success but time and time again Simpson was able to break his rhythm and punish him on the inside.
The fight was close and many rounds could have gone either way, but the deadly silence between the final bell and verdict indicated that the crowd were pessimistic on the chances of Lindsay escaping with his unbeaten record intact.
They were right with the three judges returning identical scores of 116-113.