Martin Lindsay has already dismissed one tough Scottish British champion and now he faces another in John Simpson who believes he can take revenge for Paul Appleby.
Appleby came to the Ulster Hall in April 2009 and left without his British featherweight belt as well as much of the sprightly zeal which had been the hallmark of a promising career. Since then he has lost European and Commonwealth title shots.
Tomorrow night in the King’s Hall, fellow Scot Simpson will aim to wreck the 2011 World title aspirations of Belfast man Lindsay and at the same time claim the Lonsdale belt outright, having failed to do so in 2008 when he lost on points to none other than Appleby.
Since then Simpson has won the Commonwealth featherweight title, which he lost controversially in September to Stephen Smith on a split decision.
“It hit me hard when I lost to Smith in Glasgow, in my own backyard. Two English judges voted against me, it was hard to understand how I could lose my title like that,” said Simpson, who is now fully focused on winning back the British title and aiming for higher goals.
“Smith to be honest doesn't have what I want now, I want the British title. If I win this then I get to keep the Lonsdale belt for good.
“I can beat Martin and then go on and fight for the European title and who knows maybe even the world title. My friend Ricky Burns , the WBO super-featherweight champion, has been an in
spiration to all Scottish fighters.
We've looked at Ricky and we're saying, well if Ricky can win a world title then why not us.
“When I lost to Appleby it was very close and I thought I had done enough to win that and there have been a few very close decisions and I've always seemed to come off worst.
“I've no doubt this is going to be a very exciting fight, Martin and I are similar in style and I think it'll be a cracking night for the fans.
“I know Martin's a big puncher but I've been in with big punchers before like Stephen Foster who's now the Commonwealth super-featherweight champion and I've handled them so I'm not worried about that.
“I've fought in a lot of title fights, Martin's biggest test has been Paul Appleby and I've had harder tests than that.
“I want this title so bad, I'm really hungry because I don't think I should ever have lost it to Paul Appleby. I'm going to be pumped up and ready to go.”
Simpson also dismisses any suggestion that this could be his last chance at a major title.
“I don't like to think about it in those terms because I was hard done by in the Stephen Smith fight.
“This is a big chance for me and I'm grateful that after losing the Commonwealth title I have this chance. I know it can open a lot of doors for me.”