Lee won’t be putting money on 50-50 scrap

Atif Shafiq and Lee Appleyard before their bout
Atif Shafiq and Lee Appleyard before their bout

Lee Appleyard is torn over who he thinks will emerge the victor in the Atif Shafiq v Andy Townend local derby.

Appleyard is a friend and gym-mate of Barnsley’s Townend, whose power and craft he respects.

But, in his own fight against Rotherham’s Shafiq, in March at Sheffield Arena, Appleyard came unstuck, eventually being stopped in the fifth round after hitting the deck three times.

On the night, that persuaded him the old adage that a good boxer will beat a good fighter can indeed come true.

“Shafiq v Townend’s a 50-50 fight” commented Appleyard, ahead of the 10-round contest planned for Barnsley Metrodome, on October 5.

“It feels like the same scenario as when I fought him - I thought I could get to him and knock him out and Andy will feel the same. I was a bit weight drained though (at lightweight) and the power didn’t come through.

Andy Townend

Andy Townend

“I want Townend to win, but it’s difficult to predict.

“Andy can’t knock him out if he can’t hit him and Atif can’t out-box him if he is under the right sort of pressure all the time. This isn’t a fight that I would put money on.”

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