How Rotherham boxer Lee Appleyard plans to win the English title in Doncaster tomorrow.

Lee Appleyard: hunting for glory tonight
Lee Appleyard: hunting for glory tonight

Lee Appleyard believes experience can serve him well in tomorrow’s title shot.

The Rotherham fighter takes on Lancastrian Steve Brogan for the vacant English lightweight title, having lost his two previous title fights.

The bout takes place Doncaster Dome - the same venue where the 29-year-old lost a Central Area super featherweight title shot in 2016. It marks a quick return to the ring for him, having unsuccessfully fought for the Commonwealth lightweight title in April.

“I’m hoping the experience from that is what will make me win this fight” he said. “I will have learnt a hell of a lot from it. There’s things I’ve picked up on - not to look for a big shot. That will come. We know the power’s there so we’ve worked on other aspects.”

Appleyard’s sparring partners have included Andy Townend, who boxed on Kell Brook’s undercard at Bramall Lane.

“My training camp went brilliant” he said. “I bounced straight back off my previous fight so I was already fit. Everything’s gone to plan” he said. “I’m highly confident and really looking forward to it.”

His opponent this time round is unbeaten, having fought one less bout than Appleyard.

“I think it’s going to be one to watch for the fans” said Appleyard.

“He hasn’t been in with any of the top prospects or been in any big fights. He’s not done this distance over 10 or 12 rounds.

“I’ve already ‘pre-sized’ him up and he’s definitely a bit shorter than me so my jab’s going to be my key.

“If I stick to everything that we’ve been working on in the gym, hopefully I’ll be the English champion.”

If successful, Appleyard has his eyes set on a rematch with Sean Dodd, who beat him to the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title in April. “I genuinely believe if I boxed him 10 times I’d beat him nine.

“It was just that one fight that unfortunately I boxed the wrong fight,” he said.

“I came short with the Commonwealth fight. I know I won every round but I just got caught.

“I got a bit exited and thought I could blow him away. When you look for something so much, it doesn’t come unfortunately.”

Despite the disappointment of that defeat, Appleyard admits his endeavours so far as a professional have surpassed his initial expectations.

“When I turned pro I didn’t expect to do anything,” he said.

“The Commonwealth fight came at very short notice. I’d had a fair few weeks off and it wasn’t expected.

“It was never something I thought I was going to box for. The English title was the goal for this year, I said that at the start of the year.

“This English title is everything to me. [If successful] I’ll have more than achieved what I ever thought I would have done turning pro.”

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