Simpson Wins The War , Harrison Impressive
Boxing was back The famous Kelvin Hall in Glasgow last night as the close to capacity crowd came to see if Paul Appleby and John Simpson would serve up another war following on from their epic British Title fight in 2008. Add to that the return of Scotland's bad boy former 2 time WBO 126lb champ Scott Harrison making his long awaited comeback after 6 in a half years out of the ring.
The Appleby-Simpson fight was the main even though. The Celtic Super-Feather Title was up for grabs , Appleby (9st 4lbs) was making his first defence since winning the belt in March vs Stephen Ormond. The champion from South Queensferry took a razor this decision from Simpson in June 08 , THIS fight was to be a hell of alot different for the now fading 24 year old. Simpson (9st 3 3/4 lbs) looked in tremendous shape , his large and loud following from Greenock certainly added to the growing atmosphere as the 2 fighters started where they left off , Toe to toe from the first bell.
It only took less than a minute for Appleby's face to become reddened by perfectly picked combinations from Simpson , the uppercut being the main weapon as he was able to catch the Champion coming in. The pace was ferocious , Appleby had his successes too as he was able to land some decent left hooks to the body followed by the odd straight right hand. The second round saw the pace go even faster as Simpson rocked Appleby with a left hook early after another blistering combination. The third was closer though as the Champion began to march through the attacks from Simpson , again the body shots being Appleby's best punches. I gave Appleby this round on sheer determination alone even though he was still being caught with a lot of punches , HE simply just marched through them to land of more his own.
The difference in this fight was the Greenock's fighters defence , with a high guard he was able to see what Appleby throwing at him whilst countering with the straight right. Simpson began to angle his body to get more leverage into his punches thus leaving Appleby with a bloody nose. Another big round for Simpson. In the 5th Appleby was having a good round until he walked into another perfectly planted uppercut , this slowed Appleby down and for the first time the fight looked like it certainly wouldn't go the distance.
If you want to know what a face first fighter is then Appleby is your guy , there is no doubt the guy has heart but at 24 he looks a faded force after far too many hard fights at domestic level. As the 6th round began Appleby again to his credit kept marching forward. Simpson though kept calm and midway through the round he timed the on-rushing Appleby with a hard counter right. Down went the champion. Referee Howard Foster began his count , Appleby somehow made it up and was ready to go again. The end was near though as a massive clubbing right hand sent Appleby to the ground face first for the second knockdown of the fight , Howard Foster didn't even count as it was a heavy knockdown , Simpson had gained revenge as his fans went mad in the background , the time of stoppage was 2.25 of the 6th round. Simpson can now move on with his career at 130lbs although its very hard to see where young Paul Appleby goes from here , A long long rest anyway. Judges for this fight was Victor Loughlin , Ritchie Davies and Phil Edwards.
THE main support bout on this Boxnation show was the return of the "Real McCoy" Scott Harrison who was participating in his first fight since Guy Fawkes night way back in 2005. His opponent , late replacement Gyorgy Mizsei form Budapest Hungary was only 18 years of age but was unbeaten in 7 previous fights (3ko's). Harrison looked all business as he made his way to the ring , black robe , black shorts and the trademark scowl from his heyday was back. The reception Harrison got from the Glasgow fights fans was electric many coming to see if the former World Champion had anything left to give after being out so long.
Harrison 34 began the fight fast chasing his younger opponent around the ring. The former champions footwork looked excellent as he was able to trap Mizsei (9st 8 1/2lbs) on the ropes landing fast hard combinations. It was a fast pace probably faster than many expected , Harrison though looked in great shape and fighting at lightweight (9st 8 3/4 lbs) he seems to be a bit faster in both the hand and foot department.
The 2nd round was nearly the finisher for Harrison as his pressure was telling on his Hungarian opponent. A hard left to the body floored the visitor for the first knockdown of the fight. Referee Victor Loughlin gave Mizsei the 8 count but it wasn't long before another barrage of punches had Mizsei down again. The left hook to the body was the punch that was doing all the damage. Ref Loughlin took a long look at the Hungarian but allowed him to fight on Mizsei though was met with more fury from Harrison who was fighting like a man possessed. Another big left hook to the body floored Mizsei for the 3rd time but again he got up , took his 8 count and fought on. Tough kid.
At this stage the Glasgow crowd was going wild , i reckon the arena was about 90% full although the noise would match any Old Firm game up here. The 3rd saw Harrison continue with his assault , Mizsei was in full retreat mode as he began to run around ring. Round 3 was probably the quietest of the bout although Harrison was beginning to show his array of punches when he trapped Mizsei on the ropes.
Round 4 finally saw the Glasweigian catch up with his opponent as again Harrison chased Mizsei to the ropes battering away at the body and landing some impressive uppercuts. The end came at 1.30 when a clubbing right hand knocked down Mizsei for the 4th time. This time Referee Victor Loughlin waved the fight over Mizsei was on his feet but the 18 year old was taking a huge beating. Good Call by the ref.
Harrison looked good last night , he cut down the ring well , punched well in combination and fought at a sharp pace with an incredible sustained body attack. In his interview Scott says he wants a world title? , on this performance he looks not that far away although id like to see him in with a good European class fighter to see if he has it against a better caliber of opposition. So far so good though , The Real McCoy is BACK.
On the Televised Alex Morrison promoted under card Edinburgh's Gary McMillan (11st 3 3/4lbs) scored a 6 rounds points win vs experienced West Midlander Kevin McCauley ( 11st 3lbs) in a light middleweight contest. After a slow first round McMillan 14-3-1 3ko's exploded a big overhand left to floor his opponent in the 2nd round. From then on it was all one way traffic as McCauley began to back off. The Edinburgh fighter went for the KO in the last round but had to be happy with a 6 round decision from Referee Kenny Pringle who scored the fight 60-53 in McMillans favor.
Barlonock's Michael Roberts ( 9st 8lbs) provided the 2nd TV fight for the viewers on Boxnation as he pounded out a 4 round win over late replacement Craig Johnson (9st 4lbs) from Chesterfield. Johnson was better than his 9-4 record suggested as his crude attacks were make unbeaten Roberts 8-0 think probably more than his 8 previous fights. These were 2 well matched fighters although Roberts cleaner counter punches were winning the rounds on my card. An Accidental use of the elbow cut Johnson in the 2nd , Roberts took this round with some nice hard shots to the body. The 3rd and 4th followed the same path with Johnson trying hard to ruff up Roberts , the Barlonock man though boxed nicely timing some beautiful 1-2s along with uppercuts on the inside. After 4 Roberts was proclaimed the winner 39-37 on Victor Loughlin's card.
Billy Nelson trained Cruiserweight Steven Simmons ( 14st 4lbs) from Edinburgh upped his record to 5-0 2 ko's with a laboured points win against Latvian Jevgenijs Andrejevs (13 st 5lbs). With near a stone in weight advantage Simmons bullied his Latvian opponent around the ring for 6 rounds landing numerous body and head shots that surely would have knocked out weaker men. Andrejevs lost for the 47th time against 6 wins but has only been stopped 3 times. Simmons needs to be more active as this was his first fight since being on the Ricky Burns world title bill on March 10th. Referee Victor Loughlin scored this bout 60-54 Simmons.
Nice guy John Thain (11st 5 1/2lbs) showed his flashy skills to defeat former Midlands Area Champion Tony Rendell of Birmingham over 6x3 min rounds in a light middleweight contest. With a decent following coming across from Edinburgh , Thain began the fight fast showing his superior speed and movement. Thain's jab was his most productive weapon as he speared Randell (11st 7lbs) at will before bring in a couple of nice left hooks to the body late in the round. The talent is there for Thain but the power is something he will need to work on as he landed flush with some cracking right hands in round 2 and 3. Randell tried to come forward more i the later rounds obviously the lack of power from Thain a factor but he found the youngster elusive as Thain showed some nice footwork and upper body movement. Rounds 5 and 6 were all Thain as he peppered the tiring Randell with multiple jabs and right crosses. There was only to be one winner and nobody was surprised at Referee Kenny Pringles scorecard of 59-55 for Thain who improved his record to 7-0 with 1ko.
The opening bout of this Alex Morrison 10 fight card saw Glasgow's Hugh Gray make his professional debut against the experienced Billy Smith from Worcester in a 4x3 light welterweight contest. Gray (10st 3lbs) was the aggressor from the start as he pushed back his well travelled opponent. Smith (10st 6lbs) is on a losing streak of 11 fights tried hard to get into the fight but found the debutant's right cross far to good and constant for him. By the 3rd round there wasn't much coming back as Gray was bashing away at Smith on the ropes with Referee Victor Loughlin taking a close look at Smith. Gray went all out in the last going for the knockout but soon backed off for 20 seconds when Smith caught the youngster with a wide left hook when he was boring in. After 4 rounds Gray was the clear winner with Victor Loughlin scoring 40-36 to give Gray his first win as a pro.
Ryan Collins from Irvine now 2-0 narrowly got past London fighter Dan Nayor over 4x3 min rounds at Super Feather. The 18 year old Collins (9st 6 3/4lbs) still has loads to learn as he was caught far many times by Naylor (9st 6 3/4lbs) as he rushed in. Collins sheer work rate won it for him but it was close on Referee Kenny Pringles card with Collins winning by a single point 39-38
In the 2nd last fight of the night Jon Slowey (9st 3lbs) improved his record to 10-0 0 ko's with a convincing win over Slovakian import Elemir Rafael over 4x3 min round at featherweight. Rafael lost for the 60th time but put up a brave fight against the more gifted Slowey. The Glasweigian southpaw dominated from start to finish cruising home with a 40-36 scoreline from Referee Kenny Pringle.
The show closer saw Sammy Hill (10st 5 1/2lbs) defeat Tottenham's Mark McKray (10st 1 1/4lbs) over 4x3 at welterweight. Cheered on by a huge following that stayed on late to watch him fight , the Symington man came through a shaky start where he got marked around the right eye to dominate his older opponent. Hill's pressure stated to have an effect in the 2nd and 3rd rounds as his precise body attack began to wear down McKray. In the 4th Hill than began to land some big right hands but by then the fight was a forgone conclusion as he ran out a well deserved winner 40-36 on Kenny Pringles card.