Arthur, Thain and Hastie all victory as Appleby crashes

It was a case of three steps forward, one step back for the Edinburgh boxers on the undercard of Ricky Burns' successful defence of his world super-featherweight competition at Braehead Arena on Saturday night.Let's deal with the reverse first: Paul Appleby slipped to the second defeat of his 18-fight career, losing on a split points decision to Joseph Laryea of Ghana in their super-featherweight contest for the WBO Inter-continental belt.

The tall wiry African had too much jabbing power and a touch of class, and perhaps such a fight against an unknown quantity came too early in the career of the 23-year-old from South Queensferry.He was unable to speak to the press after the fight, as he was having stitches put in the savage cut beside his left eye that did not stop him boxing but certainly distracted him from early in the fight as Laryea targeted the cut with his accurate left jabs.

When the cut opened much wider in the tenth as the result of a head clash, referee Terry O'Connor could reasonably have stopped the fight, but Appleby was allowed to continue to the final bell.It may have ended in defeat for Appleby, but over the 12 rounds he formed a committed display of professional boxing, though he was never quite good enough to upset Laryea.How one judge could give the fight to Appleby by two rounds is a mystery, though. But then the bookies also got it wrong - they had Laryea as the 20-1 underdog.


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