Rotherham boxer's surprise title shot

Lee Appleyard has taken just two months to re-invent himself in his search for boxing honours.

Friday, 4th November 2016, 10:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:50 pm
Lee Appleyard in winning mode earlier this year. Pic: Dean Woolley

The ‘Bramley Banger’ was stopped in his quest to win the Central Area super featherweight title in September, when Chris Conwell TKo’d him at Doncaster Dome.

But two weeks today, at the same venue, he will be hunting down a similar title, only at lightweight, taking on Ismail Anwar, from Huddersfield.

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Appleyard, 28, who only turned professional in May 2014, says: “I was drained at that weight, which is why I have stepped up from 9st 4lbs.

“It might only be only five pounds on the scales, but I feel so much stronger during the training and the whole preparation suits me a lot better. Conwell had caught me with a left hook, the ref stepped in and while I moaned about it at the time, I was exhausted because of the weight thing.

“Obviously I was down in the dumps after the defeat. And it was made worse the following day when we inquired about a re-match and Conwell’s manager said ‘Not a prayer’ - they were going to pull him out at the end of the round because I was winning by a landslide and they wanted to save him for another day!”

Appleyard, a window salesman, thinks he was awarded another Central Area title shot because of how well he was boxing before the stoppage.”

Now he is planning to beat Anwar, a fighter he has respect for.

“Anwar is no muppet. The kids he has lost to are top prospects and he has beaten Robbie Barrett, Marcus Ffrench and Michael Devine. It is going to be a harder fight than Conwell.

“When I turned pro I thought I’d have a couple of fights just so I could say that I’d become professional. I never thought it would go anywhere. I wasn’t the best technical fighter but I’ve already achieved more than I ever thought I could. This fight is a step towards the English title and the British belt is my eventual aim.”

He will be supported his wife and two daughters, aged seven and nine.

“The kids don’t like it when my face is banged up and I contemplated not bring them to the shows, but they are adamant they want to be there!”

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