Shafiq gets better of Appleyard in Rotherham scrap

By David Beddows | 03/03/2018

Shafiq gets better of Appleyard in Rotherham scrap
Atif Shafiq celebrates his win over Rotherham rival Lee Appleyard. Pics: STEVE METTAM

ATIF Shafiq took the local boxing bragging rights after an impressive win over Rotherham rival Lee Appleyard at the FlyDSA Sheffield Area.

The fight was stopped 33 seconds into the fifth round after the Ingle-trained Shafiq had his man down three times from a series of body punches.

Shafiq, now 19-2, produced the cleaner and more clinical work, although the two couldn’t be separated in an even first round.

Considered the heavier puncher, Appleyard got some decent shots off but his opponent began to get control as the fight progressed.

Shafiq floored the English champion towards the end of the fourth round and then again not long before the bell, with Appleyard happy to return to the sanctuary of his corner.

Lee Appleyard goes down for  his second count.

Seeing his chance, Shafiq moved in at the start of the fifth and after the third knockdown the towel came in from the corner.

Shafiq said: “I stuck to the plan in the first four rounds, to stay smart behind the jab and not get hit with anything silly and then take him out midway. I was hitting Lee with jabs and I could hear him wince, the ones to the body took a lot out of him. I’m ready for the big fights.”