Liam Walsh v Gervonta Davis: In the heat of the night a warrior comes out of the York Hall shadows
- Credit: Archant
Liam Walsh has despatched 21 opponents during his pro career. CHRIS LAKEY's look at the top five begins with a stunning scrap at York Hall.
Liam Walsh v Paul Appleby
York Hall, September 30, 2011
Late September it may have been, but the country was wobbling under ridiculous temperatures.
The bars around York Hall in Bethnal Green were overflowing with thirsty drinkers. Inside the spiritual home of English boxing, there was hardly a spare seat in the old house.
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The Farmy Army were in full voice on the balcony and by the time Liam Walsh and Paul Appleby stepped into the ring, the atmosphere was at boiling point.
But the rest of the card had been a mere warm-up. What followed was a stunning display of bravery by two men whose fight immediately went down as fight of the year.
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Fittingly, it was the very first night of promoter Frank Warren's BoxNation channel: and even the master couldn't have planned it any better.
Walsh was making the second defence of his Commonwealth super-featherweight title, and Appleby had travelled down from Scotland with glorious victory in his sights.
His intentions were clear from the very beginning as the fight started off at a relentless pace.
Walsh suffered a cut in the second round and in the seventh was caught and floored by a thumping left hook. The momentum had swung between both fighters, neither of whom gave an inch: it was certainly not for the faint-hearted.
But it was after that seventh-round knockdown that Walsh's championship quality shone through. Instead of succumbing, Walsh bit on his gumshield and responded brilliantly, crafting wave after wave of constructive attacks.
Walsh's body punches are famously unforgiving and when Appleby went back to his corner at the end of the 10th round he was labouring in agony.
The referee was prepared to let the fight go on but one look at the Scot was enough: he was in no position to continue. He knew it, his corner knew it – and a superb battle had a victor.
Walsh said: 'The fans roared me off the floor and on to victory, I can only give all my thanks to them really.'
Appleby was magnanimous in defeat: 'I thought that was it (in round seven), but he's a warrior and he came back at me and got me.'