by Alex McIntyre | Tue. June 8, 2010
Paul Appleby, one of Scotland's most exciting talents, has decided to make his long awaited return to the ring. After nearly 15 months away from boxing, Appleby has secured a deal with top British promoter Frank Warren. Appleby's return has been penciled in for the Kelvin Hall, Glasgow card on the 17th of July. The card also features John Simpson, Ricky Burns and Willie Limmond.
Appleby, 14-1 (9 KO), is back in training now and hungrier than ever following a heart-breaking loss in his last fight in April of last year. Appleby made the short trip over the Irish Sea to Belfast to face the tough Irishman Martin Lindsay, but was stopped after barnstorming 6 rounds at a packed Ulster Hall.
The atmosphere was electric as Appleby and Lindsay slugged it out for the British featherweight title, however it was not to be for Paul when he found himself outgunned for the first time in his young career. Lindsay soaked up Appleby's shots and set about wearing him down. Lindsay had put on a fine display in front of his jubilant supporters, but Paul, who had had won the Title at just 20 years of age, was still a very young fighter. The popular feeling amongst fans was that he had fought bravely, before he was stopped on his feet, and would be back before too long.
Later that year rumors surfaced that Paul was being lined up for a shot at the European champion Oleg Yefimovych in the Ukraine, The fight fell through however, and former Appleby victim Esham Pickering made the journey instead. He was taken out in 3 rounds by Yefimovych. That Appleby did not make the long trip to the Ukraine was probably in his best interest, a fight of that magnitude with the traveling involved may have been too much for a fighter looking to bounce back from his first defeat.
Taking time out to talk to OtG Paul reflected on the loss to Lindsay and his desire to regain his title.
"After I lost the fight I took a couple of months off to think, but now I'm back hungry again, I want it back! I've been training really hard. I lost my undefeated record. It took me months to get over losing my title, to be honest it was my own fault because I wasn't training the way I should be. But I've learned that you can't take your foot off the gas even if you're' the champ. You've got to train even harder because there's always someone there that wants to take it off you. I'll never make that mistake again and next time I'm champion I'll be holding on to it"
Appleby made his pro debut in Jan. 2006, and set about quickly establishing a reputation as one of the U.K.'s brightest prospects. With a crowd-pleasing heavy-handed style and a series of regular appearances on Sky Sports undercards, Paul began endearing himself to the British public and boxing pundits alike.
Before too long he was headlining his own shows, and at the tender age of just 20-years-old, won the British Featherweight Title against fellow Scot John Simpson on a fantastic night for Scottish boxing in Glasgow.
Looking back on his win Paul said, "It was amazing, best night of my life. But i think it came a wee bit too early, but I need to get on with it now, I'll get it back".
He would go on to defend his title against former European Super Bantamweight Champion and World Title challenger, Esham Pickering, and then just a month prior to the the Lindsay defense he defeated Spaniard Juan Garcia Martin in a one round stoppage.
Paul hopes to return to the featherweight division to get another shot at Martin Lindsay but admits he may need to fight at super featherweight upon his return.
"I'll wait and see, I'd love to fight Martin Lindsay again," he said. "I'll try my hardest to make it but if I can't I'll have to move up to Super Featherweight."
He was also quick to remind fans that the old aggressive Paul Appleby will still be there, only with a little added defensive savvy, and better use of his jab.
"I'm always going to come forward - that's my style. I love to throw lots of punches, but I've been working on my defense in sparring, My speed, my jab...just going back to basics. In my last few fights I've not been using my jab properly and that's because of the training I was doing. I've been sparring with Alex Arthur, it's been brilliant sparing. There's another boy called Josh Taylor, he's an amateur and he's a good spar, he's really fast".
Back with his old trainer Terry McCormack, only time will tell whether Appleby can achieve his dream of regaining his championship winning form. The omens look good; he's fresh, and a little older and wiser, but most importantly he's hungry. The future looks bright for fans of the South-Queensferry native, and for Appleby himself as well.