1st October 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30:  Liam Walsh (t...
Liam Walsh held onto his Commonwealth super featherweight title on Friday night when challenger Paul Appleby retired at the end of round 10,  in a fight to be remembered.

The York Hall Bethnal Green is synonymous with the small hall classic and the home of British boxing has another fight to add to it’s history log, after Walsh and Scotsman Appleby treated the rampant fans in the Hall and watching on BoxNation tv channel a grueling bloody encounter.

Walsh had to pick himself off the canvas in round seven, after a big Appleby left hook caught him flush on the chin dropping him in a way many lesser mortals don’t get up from. But hurt and stunned Walsh somehow regain his feet and was able to continue.

Walsh 25, had been cut underneath his right eye early in the fight from Appleby’s accurate use of the jab and in the end it took all his fighting grit, effort and heart to overcome an inspired challenger to retain his belt and graduate has a serious professional boxer not to be taken lightly.

Mick Williamson Walsh’s cutsman worked wonders with the eye damage, he not only kept the blood under control, the cut didn’t get much worse throughout the fight and he almost mended it shut with his surgeon like skills in the one minute pressurised intervals.

Up until Walsh had hit the floor, this edge of the seat clash had swung backwards and forwards and it was difficult to split the early rounds, although you felt former British featherweight champion Appleby had the ascendancy and his determination and strength was just about tipping the balance in his favour.

Appleby appeared to have broken the spirit of Walsh when he finally felled his man in the 7th – But the Norfolk fighter originally from Rochdale, roared on by his infectious fans beat the count and stayed on his feet, avoiding Appleby’s finisher which he was looking to land to clear his head, get control of his legs and see out the round.

In them seconds before round eight the chemical shifts in Walsh’s psyche and all his functioning organisms were manifested to a different level of his being. Every aspect and strength that go to creating a fighter of substance, guile and pedigree were heightened and awoke and Walsh succeeded to pass any previous thresholds he had set his body and mind.

A fighter and indeed a champion is often judged on how they prevail through diversity and comeback from the brink to win at all costs with their backs against the wall. Walsh did just that, rising to finish the round and then grasp the fight back in his favour.

The Scottish challenger had crossed the boarder and came into the English capital determined to get his career back on track with a title win away from home. And he pushed the champion to the brink of breaking point, but in the end it was the belt holder, who after recovering from the knockdown claimed a second wind to take control of the fight.

Walsh clawed back the advantage over the second half of the bruising contest, with the Cromer southpaw beginning to use his skills to better effect and looked a different operator to the one who had been willing to trade with the heavy handed Appleby.

The momentum swung this way and that throughout the fight, with each unleashing hurtful combinations on the others head and body, but in the end it was Walsh who was the last man standing in this gladiatorial affair.

Walsh now on the offensive and pushing the strong challenger back he unleashed a perfectly timed left hook that hurt Appleby who grimaced and covered up instinctively, hands clasped around his head. But before the pain was able to be absorbed by the Scott. Walsh in the blink of an eye followed up with a left and right hook to Appleby’s rib cage and the sturdy challenger fell to the floor, his lungs emptied of the little wind that was left in them.

The bell sounded to end the round just as the referee took up the count and in true warrior style and fitting to the nights events, Appleby dragged himself to his feet and was helped back to his corner by his trainers.

But Appleby’s brave and courageous fight was over!

The referee had been willing to allow the 24-year-old from South Queensferry to continue, but Appleby’s trainer and uncle thought better of it and called off the fight to ensure Walsh a second successful defence of his title and an epic victory clawed from the jaws of defeat.

Both men did themselves proud and being the first fight to be shown live on new boxing channel BoxNation and promoted by Queensbury Boxing. This not only gave the new venture a major starter for ten or more, but set an almighty president for the rest to follow!

This will go down as one of the fights of the year!

Undercard results will follow – plus a round up of all the weekend fights involving British Boxers, including Gavin Rees’ European lightweight title defence against Derry Mathews, plus Darren Barkers world title challenge against Sergio Martinez, will be available on Sunday. Good luck Darren Barker!

By Chris Maylett
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