UK Boxing News: Appleby-Lindsay; George Groves; Michael Maguire

Irish fight fans could witness one of the domestic fights of 2009 when Belfast hero Martin ‘Mac Man’ Lindsay attempts to snatch the British featherweight title from reigning champion Paul Appleby on March 7 at the Ulster Hall, Belfast. The fascinating battle of unbeaten prospects will match Hayemaker star Lindsay against Scotsman Appleby, the current Boxing Writer’s ‘Young Boxer of the Year’. The intriguing 12-rounder will be screened live and exclusively on Setanta Sports..

Belfast-born Lindsay, a former amateur standout and unblemished pro, set up his shot at the prestigious Lonsdale title with a stunning, come-from-behind knockout of fellow Hayemaker featherweight Derry Mathews in September. Despite narrowly trailing on the scorecards going into the ninth round, Lindsay uncorked a savage left-hook to emphatically end matters.

At 26 years of age and with 13 pro wins to his name, Lindsay feels the time is right to take Appleby’s coveted prize on March 7.

“It wouldn’t matter who was holding the title – I want that belt,” claims Lindsay, 13-0 (5 KO). “Appleby’s a good young fighter with lots of ability, but nobody is standing in my way of winning the British title.

“Whenever you turn pro, you want to be fighting for the British title, the European title and even bigger titles. You want to be involved in big fights that get people talking. What’s the point in hanging around? I want to get in there and test myself – find out how good I am.”

Edinburgh champion Appleby is one of the outstanding pro talents in Britain. Also 13-0 (8 KO), Appleby has already claimed the scalps of top domestic contenders John Simpson and Esham Pickering. A spiteful puncher to head and body, Appleby, still only 21 years of age, shows no fear in conceding home advantage to mandatory challenger Lindsay.

“This is a great fight for British boxing, and both Appleby and Lindsay are a credit to the sport,” says Hayemaker Head of Boxing Dave Coldwell. “We’re delighted to be able to work again with Tommy Gilmour and Matchroom on this show and are pleased that we came to an agreement to stage this fight in Belfast.

“This fight proves that when so-called ‘rival’ promoters have healthy relationships and are happy to work together, the best domestic fights get made. Paul and Tommy had no hesitation defending the belt in Belfast. Both are very confident in Paul’s ability.”

Hayemaker Director Adam Booth predicts fireworks in the HAYEMAKER 5 main event.

“It’s a brilliant fight,” adds Booth. “Appleby and Lindsay are two of the best prospects in this country and they are getting it on at a time in their careers when many other young fighters would shy away from the fight.

“Appleby’s a great talent but, ultimately, I feel Lindsay’s better amateur pedigree and more patient counter-punching will win him the British title. I can see Martin stopping Appleby in the later rounds.”

*** For more information on HAYEMAKER 5 and other upcoming Hayemaker shows, please visit the official website at

Groves and Maguire visit the ‘home of boxing’ for HAYEMAKER 4

Amateur standouts ‘The Saint’ George Groves and Michael Maguire will return to their old amateur stamping ground on Sunday, February 1st, only this time they’ll be appearing at the illustrious York Hall in Bethnal Green as professionals.

Now promising, unbeaten pros, Groves and Maguire will form part of HAYEMAKER 4, an intimate non-TV show at Britain’s home of boxing. The February 1st date gives both Groves and Maguire an incentive to stay busy over Christmas and continue their unbeaten runs into the New Year.

Former two-time Senior ABA champion Groves, currently 1-0 as a pro, is straining at the leash to re-visit the home of his proudest amateur nights.

“I won my second ABA title at the York Hall in May, and now I’ll be having my second pro fight at the same venue in February,” says the 20-year-old Groves. “You couldn’t ask for a better place to box. When the York Hall is packed out to the rafters it creates an atmosphere like no other boxing arena. It may not be the biggest venue, but it definitely has the most character.”

Middleweight prospect Groves kicked off his pro career in style at The O2 in November when he dominated Lithuanian import Kirill Pshonko over six rounds. Long and rangy, and a spiteful puncher when he plants his feet, Groves showed a bit of everything on November 15, whilst admitting he’s still learning the ropes.

“It was good to get the six rounds out of the way and I felt I handled the distance really well,” admits Groves. “I didn’t feel tired at all, and felt like I could do another six on top of that.

“The guy I was boxing was very tough, very cagey and knew how to mess me about for six rounds. I’m going to have to learn how to break down those types of opponents as I move along. It will definitely be all six-rounders from this point on, though.”

Also present on November 15 was Peterborough prodigy Maguire, a former European Union gold medallist and fellow undefeated pro. Currently 2-0 (1 KO) in the pro game, bantamweight Maguire scored his first professional knockout in November as he crippled Bulgarian Iordan Vasilev with a single body shot in the opening round.

“I was ready for another four-rounder and managed to line him up and finish it with a sweet body shot,” says the 19-year-old Maguire. “It was good to finish the fight early, especially as the guy I was boxing turned up in good shape and was ready to give me a proper fight. It was a surprise to get him out of there that quickly.”

Winner of eight national amateur titles, as well as a European Junior gold medal, Maguire also has fond memories of Bethnal Green’s York Hall.

“I beat one of the top Americans (David Clark) at the York Hall last November in a GB vs. USA amateur show,” adds Michael. “I stopped him in the second round and a lot of people were saying it was the performance of the night. All my fans packed the place out and it was a really good show. I’m hoping for more of the same on February 1st.”

*** For more information on HAYEMAKER 4 and other upcoming Hayemaker shows, please visit the official website at

Article posted on 10.12.2008

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