Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Pickering to challenge Appleby belt

Britain's Best Young Boxer of the Year, Paul Appleby, will defend his British featherweight belt against the experienced Esham Pickering.

The 21-year-old Scot will make the first defence of his title in Glasgow on November 28.

Pickering, 32, who took part in the first of his 12 title fights so far 10 years ago, will be stepping up from his usual super-bantamweight division.

Appleby was recently recognised by the Boxing Writers Guild following his points victory against former champion and fellow Scot John Simpson.

"I get recognised more now and get more respect," said the South Queensferry boxer.

"I have got more to lose - so I want to stay the champion."

Appleby said of his win over Simpson: "Just to complete 12 rounds gave me confidence.

"Now I know I can go 12 but hopefully this won’t go 12 rounds. I think I will stop him."

Appleby’s manager, Tommy Gilmour, admits setting up his young fighter with the experienced Newark boxer is a gamble.

Gilmour said: "Every fight is a gamble. It’s hard to win the championship but even harder to remain the champion.

"I would like Paul to be able to cash in on the experience Esham Pickering brings to the table.

"It’s the way forward, the type of fight he needs having just been named the best young boxer of the year. People are looking for bigger and better things for Paul Appleby. If he can do it against tried and tested champions, that’s the fights I believe he has got to make.

"We have got to be prepared to move up to the next level.

"He put in an outstanding performance against John Simpson. He needs an even better performance to beat Esham Pickering, with the amount of championship fights he has won.

"There are not too many fighters, at any weight, who have taken so many title fights."

But he added: "I believe, and so do Britain’s boxing writers, that Paul is something special."

Tickets start at £35 and are available from St Andrew’s Sporting Club on 0141 810 5700.

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