Martin Lindsay Rips British Featherweight Title From Paul Appleby

by James Slater - Last night, inside the beautiful Ulster Hall in Belfast, local man and challenger Martin Lindsay stopped defending British featherweight champion Paul Appleby of Edinburgh, Scotland at 2 minutes and 36 seconds of the 6th round. A good action fight throughout, both the 26-year-old challenger and the 21-year-old champion - who was making the second defence of his title - gave their all, spurred on as they were by an amazingly noisy crowd..

Unloading with both hands, Lindsay ripped into the champion with lefts and rights to the head in the 6th round. Finally, after a big right hand to the head, referee Howard Foster dived in and saved Appleby from taking any more. Though Team-Appleby later debated the stoppage, it looked like the third man in the ring did the right thing from where I was. Improving to 14-0(6), the new champion would surely have no objections to having a rematch. 21-year-old Appleby, who lost his unbeaten record along with his title in falling to 14-1(9), would definitely like a return.

In front of a deafening crowd, practically all of which was cheering on Belfast man Lindsay, naturally, the two men went straight at it in the opening round. Lindsay looked the quicker and sharper man in the first two rounds, though, and he was catching the champion with head shots with both hands. Lindsay also did some good body work, particularly with his left hand. Appleby was firing back, but he was no way near as sharp. The first two rounds I gave to the challenger.

In the 3rd, Appleby enjoyed his first good round. Unloading some right hands, the champion forced Lindsay to hold on a touch. The 4th round was the best of the fight, though. Both men took turns in letting hard shots go and there was some fierce trading. A war was shaping up, and both men were throwing caution to the wind. Appleby was also bleeding from the nose and he was given a warning from the ref for pulling down on the challenger's head. An even round.

Appleby was the more aggressive man in the 5th round, coming forward more than Lindsay. Both men landed with good right hands to the head in this, another close session. Then came the end in the 6th round.

A big right hand scored for Lindsay near the start of the round, and pretty soon Appleby was hurt and holding on. Looking tired, the champion was soon under heavy pressure. His right hands looking very dangerous, the challenger sure enough began connecting with his bombs. A big left hand to the head followed by two rights hurt Appleby, and Lindsay went for the finish. Two more rights upstairs and a big left hook to the jaw had Appleby all over the place on the ropes. Bravely trying to fight back, the champion saw his belt go after a final right crashed into his head, prompting Foster to stop the bout.

It was a good fight, yet the British TV commentators picked up on how reckless both men were during it. Indeed, both young fighters have a lot to learn yet. Fortunately, they both have plenty of time on their side.

Article posted on 26.04.2009

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