Sheffield boxer cannot pick a winner between Atif Shafiq and Andy Townend in their derby clash

Lee Connelly's defeat at the hands of both Atif Shafiq and Andy Townend has whetted his appetite to see what happens when the pair clash with each other.

Monday, 6th August 2018, 7:53 am
Updated Monday, 6th August 2018, 7:58 am
Lee Connelly

Connelly was TKO'd by Barnsley's Townend in September 2014 at Doncaster Dome in a Central Area super featherweight title fight and was outpointed by Sheffield's Shafiq a year later at iceSheffield.

Townend and Shafiq share the ring at the Metrodome, Barnsley on October 5, in a lightweight contest over 10 rounds.

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Connelly shares the view the Stefy Bull promoted fight will be a close-run clash. "50-50 sounds about right" he said.

"I have boxed both guys, so I have much interest in that fight. I boxed Atif over four rounds and he seemed to tire a bit towards the end.

"I boxed Townend over 10 and he stopped me in the fifth so its kind of like Townend comes in later on with his punching power and Atif has got that sharp boxing early on. Saying that Atif looked very impressive in the last fight I saw him in."

Shafiq could potentially go down a weight division, said Connelly but added: "He's healthy and strong enough to stop Lee Appleyard in his last fight so I don't see any reason why he should risk going down any further.

Lee Connelly

"And Andy Townend is coming up because he's been struggling to make that weight and he was a big super-feather. I think he'll still be strong at lightweight."

Connelly said he'd normally back a boxer against a fighter but "when somebody has got that punching power and it's over the course of 10 rounds, then that can change things."

Gutsy Connelly, after a career littered with too many losses, still hopes he may be able to compete for an area title.

But does he have any regrets over a career stretching back six years.

"I could have achieved more if guided the right way and done things differently but I've enjoyed time in boxing."

He also predicted there would be more vegan boxers - like himself.