BOXXER Series: Local rivalry between Levi Kinsiona and Lee Appleyard gets personal after angry clash

There's just one downside of Sheffield’s Levi Kinsiona fighting Rotherham's Lee Appleyard: they won’t be going to war over 12 rounds following their angry exchange.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 10:50 am
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 10:50 am

Tempers flared as the pair faced off on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s showdown at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, which will consist of three three-minute rounds, with their rivalry seemingly more than just local.

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Former English lightweight champion Appleyard accused Kinsiona, who is eight years his junior at 25, of ‘arrogance’, claimed he was lying about their sparring history and previously turned down the chance to fight him, leading him to label his opponent ‘pathetic’.

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He told The Star: “He annoys me. I don’t like his arrogance and how he comes across, and these little lies he makes up about us sparring.

"I just think he’s pathetic.

"If he’s never lost a round in hundreds of rounds of sparring he’s going to have to prove it on Saturday night.

"Four months ago we offered Dave Allen (Kinsiona’s manager) the chance to fight me in a championship fight and they turned it down. Maybe he said he wanted me because there was only a one-in-seven chance.”

Former English lightweight champion Lee Appleyard accused Levi Kinsiona from Sheffield of ‘arrogance’. Photo: Lewis Storey/Getty.

The pair are set to go head-to-head in an eight-man, one-night tournament live on Sky Sports which will see the winner decided on the night and take home a life-changing £40,000.

Sheffield Hallam student Kinsiona, a former two-time national amateur champion, stood by his claim that he has never lost a single round during many spars with Appleyard in the three years they spent under the same manager, Stefy Bull.

He said: "Lee is just a stepping stone, I’m going to walk through him tomorrow.

“He had to lie (about the sparring) to make himself feel good.

"I have sparred him plenty of times and have pictures at my gym and his gym.”

Kinsiona prefers to box at lightweight and said a previous fight against Appleyard was offered at the weight above, which tomorrow’s contest will be fought at.

He said: "They asked for the Central Area fight at super lightweight. Dave suggested it being at lightweight but that was turned down.

"I got who I wanted from the draw. I’m getting to that final and there’s no stopping me.”

Expect plenty more fireworks on Bonfire Night weekend.