UK News: Lindsay vs Appleby; O’Donnell – “Watson is all talk”

Belfast’s Martin Lindsay will look to take inspiration from the recent success of fellow Irish fighters, as he gears up for a shot at Paul Appleby’s British featherweight title. Lindsay and Appleby will clash on April 25 at Belfast’s Ulster Hall and Irish favourite Lindsay is delighted to have home advantage. “Boxing’s been going well in Ireland recently,” says the 26-year-old Lindsay..

“We’ve got Bernard Dunne, Martin Rogan, Paul McCloskey and Brian Magee all doing really well in title fights. We’re all going in as underdogs and coming out on top. We’ve had a run of about four or five big fights where nobody backed us and we ended up bringing home the belts. That can only be a good thing for Irish boxing.”

Lindsay may also find himself a slight underdog on April 25. In an intriguing battle of unbeaten fighters, champion Appleby and challenger Lindsay get it on at the second time of asking, following a postponed date in March.

“I can’t wait to get going,” says Lindsay, who was forced to pull out of the original date due to a rib injury. “My ribs are fine now and I’ve been sparring away and getting hit there. It’s not a problem.

“I had a trapped nerve in my rib, but I’ve had a lot of work done on it and it seems to have done the trick. I’m firing on all cylinders again now and can’t wait.”

The 13-0 Lindsay will require all cylinders against reigning champion Appleby, 14-0.

“He’s (Appleby) a strong fighter who comes forward and sometimes comes forward too much for his own good,” assesses ‘Mac Man’. “Sometimes he can be a bit reckless. Still, it seems to be working for him right now as he’s finishing a lot of guys off. That’s just the way he fights. Hopefully as he steps up in class he’ll find it a bit harder to do the things he does at a lower level. I’m hoping I can exploit a few weaknesses he has.

“I want to go out and do what I want to do in this fight. At the same time, though, I’m obviously going to go out there and look to capitalise on mistakes as he comes forward.”

Lindsay secured his shot at the British title with a stunning ninth-round knockout of Liverpool’s Derry Mathews last September. Slightly behind on points at the time, one single left-hook landed Lindsay the title chance he’d always craved. He admits the impending duel with Appleby could be even more enthralling than the victory over Mathews.

“He’s the British champion and he’s the one with the title,” says Lindsay. “They’re all tough guys out there - and I’ve fought plenty of tough opponents in the past - but I’d probably say Appleby is the strongest one so far, simply because he holds the belt.

“Derry and Appleby are two very different fighters. Derry had long range and long arms, and I probably won’t have to deal with anything like that against Appleby. Appleby is probably a bit more aggressive, though. They both bring different things to the table.”

Ultimately, given Ireland’s recent run of boxing heroics, Lindsay feels in safe hands on April 25. He couldn’t ask for a better backdrop to his first British title shot.

“In any fight, especially at this level, you’re going to have to dig deep and pull it out,” he explains. “The home crowd does help to bring that out of you a wee bit. It gives you that little bit extra. If things start going pear-shaped you can always rely on the crowd for that extra boost.”

*** Martin Lindsay’s British title shot against Paul Appleby takes place at the Ulster Hall, Belfast on April 25. Tickets priced at £35, £50 and £70 can be purchased directly by calling 02890 334 455.

*** Setanta Sports televise HAYEMAKER 8: ‘Appleby vs. Lindsay’ live from the Ulster Hall on April 25.

O’Donnell – “Watson is all talk”

John O’Donnell believes that Craig Watson is trying to talk himself up ahead of their Commonwealth Welterweight title showdown in London this weekend. The two men go head to head in a top quality Commonwealth title matchup at the York Hall on Saturday night on a Hennessy Sports event which is live on ITV4.

The fight will be Watson’s second defence of his Commonwealth title following on from an impressive win over Matthew Hatton in a Manchster derby last time out. He’s predicting a stoppage win over O’Donnell but the Shepherd's Bush based challenger isn’t impressed.

“He’s been talking out of his arse but that’s up to him,” blasted O’Donnell. “Guys who talk like that are only trying to convince themselves, he can talk as much as he likes but it will be a different story in that ring – that’s where I’ll do my talking.

O’Donnell has 20 wins from his 21 pro fights to date with his solitary loss coming on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather – Oscar De La Hoya fight in Las Vegas two years ago.

O’Donnell believes that Watson is making his prediction based solely on that defeat. “He’s probably looked at my record and saw that my only defeat was that stoppage loss in Las Vegas so he probably thinks he can do the same.

“People definitely read too much into that loss, my mind wasn’t on the job that night and I also had an ear issue which was affecting my balance and needed surgery afterwards to correct it. My trainer, Rob McCracken could see that I wasn’t right and he pulled me out. It was bitterly disappointing at the time but you learn from these things and I’ve had 5 good wins since then. Hopefully Watson has learned from that early knockout loss he had in Italy too!”

McCracken will be back in O’Donnell’s corner on Saturday with the leading trainer making a quick return to the UK from Carl Froch’s training camp in Canada.

“I’ve been working with Rob for this fight for the last 13 weeks now so I’ve had loads of time with him,” said O’Donnell. “He headed to Canada with Carl at the weekend to set up their camp out there ahead of the Taylor fight but he’s coming back for my fight. This week is all about winding down anyway, all the hard work is done now and the important thing is that Rob will be there in the corner on the night.

“I’m ready to go right now. I’ll spend this week easing down, my weight is good and training’s gone great so I just want to get in there now and do the business.”

Watson V O’Donnell headlines a fantastic line-up of championship boxing at the York Hall in Bethnal Green. In the chief support bout Lenny Daws meets Peter McDonagh for the English Light Welterweight title while heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury, hot prospect Bradley Evans, Wembley’s Steve O’Meara and Irish Champ Stephen Haughian also feature on the undercard. Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via

Article posted on 06.04.2009

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