Stepping up

12 December 2008 – By Cormac Campbell

Martin Lindsay will be on familiar territory when he fights Paul Appleby for the British Featherweight title on March 7.

The Belfast native will have home advantage for the Setanta Sports televised event that sees big time boxing return to the Ulster Hall for the first time since refurbishment works commenced two years ago. The venue, which only weeks later will host the Ulster Senior finals, is an arena in which Lindsay enjoyed some successful nights as an amateur and speaking to the Immaculata stylist said he is chomping at the bit.

I found out last week but was waiting until everything was confirmed and then when I saw the press release was out I knew that they had accepted the offer, he beamed.

Ive had a few good occasions as an amateur in the Ulster Hall so it will be good to be back in there again.

What secured the clash against champion Appleby was one of the sweetest left hooks you are ever likely to see in professional boxing. Going in to the lions den in September, unbeaten Lindsay found himself behind on points against the much touted Derry Matthews after suffering an early knockdown. The Mac Man forced his way back in to the contest and in the ninth round found a punch to secure a title tilt.

I was always confident, but he was boxing well, he reminisced.

The early knockdown really put a spanner in the works for my gameplan. And then I ended up having to chase the fight as I knew I wouldnt be getting any favours away from home. I knew I had to claw it back. Looking back on the fight now there wasnt much in it going in to the ninth round. But at the time it was in my mind that he was ahead.

What made the Matthews fight all the more intriguing was the fact that both boxers are part of David Hayes Hayemaker Promotions stable. It is highly likely that, had they bided their time, both boxers would have received a crack at Appleby. But according to Lindsay, this is not the way he wants to do business.

The deal with Hayemaker came about through my manager John Rooney who knows Hayes manager and trainer Adam Booth. So it was a deal between them.

Taking tough fights is what is all about. When you turn professional you want to be in title fights. Im just going to take every opportunity I can get and hope it works out for me.

With just under three months until first bell, Lindsay will be getting in to the nitty gritty of his preparations under coach Nugget Nugent just after New Years, and he has set himself a tough resolution to follow.

Ill stay with Nugget in Belfast because thats where I am happiest. Whatever gameplan he sets out Ill be happy. Every fighter can adapt and change, so I can also work it out in the ring.

Getting by Appleby I would like to defend it once and then target the European title.

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