By Tom Gray at Ringside: In a major upset on the Burns/Evensen undercard in Glasgow Satureday night 8/1 favourite and local hero Paul Appleby was outscored by tough Ghanaian, Joseph Laryea. The fight was contested for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Super Featherweight Title.
Appleby’s problems started quickly as Laryea pumped a solid jab into his face which reddened the Scot’s features. Paul did manage to get inside and land his trademark left hook to the body but the African was as tough as weeds.
Appleby sustained a cut over the left eye in the third and was clearly bothered by the flow of blood. Laryea’s jab proved to be an awesome weapon as it snapped his opponent’s head back and set up a whipping left hook which momentarily stunned his prey.
The Scottish fighter wasn’t throwing enough in the first half and was rendered gun shy by his injury, which only served to give Laryea further confidence. Another ferocious left hook sent Appleby back on his heels and he began to look disconsolate as the fight progressed.
Appleby came to life by the midway point as he sensed urgency and attempted to give his fans something to cheer about. Laryea switched off which allowed the Scot time to score with some impressive combination work. However, normal service resumed in the seventh when Appleby sustained a nose injury and his face deteriorated into a crimson mask.
In the tenth Appleby was cut by what looked like a clash of heads. This wound didn’t hamper his vision but the blood was far more pronounced and the referee ushered Appleby to the corner to let his corner have a look. Appleby responded by throwing down with real warrior instinct and caught his opponent with clusters of power shots.
With typical defiance Laryea dominated the final session, landing big single shots and the bursting left jab which caused so much damage. Appleby was stunned by a right hand and the Ghanaian closed the stronger.
There will be no title fight against Ricky Burns and Appleby needs a long rest before returning. Scores on the split decision were 116-112, 117-111 Laryea and 115-113 Appleby. This reporter scored the fight 115-114 Laryea.
Alex Arthur held off a brave challenge from Newport’s, Jay Morris to win every round of the eight scheduled.
Arthur was sharper and more accurate as he tattooed his opponent with clusters of power shots throughout the contest. Complacency seems to be Arthur’s problem at this level as he mugged for the crowd in spots and became lazy.
Despite that Alex never lost control and scored a knockdown courtesy of a straight right hand to the forehead in the sixth round. He followed that with some brisk combination work and cut his opponent badly in the seventh.
The final round was cat and mouse as Arthur posed for the crowd and admired his work. Hopefully Alex gets something more challenging next year because he is wasted in eight round contests.
Current Commonwealth Games light-heavyweight Gold medalist Callum Johnson made short work of Phillip Townley in his professional debut, scoring a second round technical knockout.
Johnson was slightly over eager in the opening minute but when he settled down his talent was decisive. A sharp right hand set up a withering body assault and a left hook to the ribs produced a knockdown.
Townley looked way out of his depth and an array or big power shots to the head forced the referee’s intervention in a second round mercy stoppage.
Johnson is managed by the charismatic former world featherweight champion, Naseem Hamed. This reporter caught up with “The Prince” and asked what he thought of the fight; “Callum’s performance was unbelievable, it was chilling. His left hooks and right hands were just amazing. He should hopefully be fighting in the next few months or so. In fact I’m actually trying to get him on Frank Warren’s card next week because if he’s having nights like this, he needs to be fighting regular.”
In other action Dublin’s Stephen Ormund blasted out game Frenchman Sebastien Cornu in six rounds. The end came via a sinister left hook to the head.
Edinburgh ace John Thain sparkled in a first round knockout over Iain Eldridge.
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December 4, 2010