Atif Shafiq stops Lee Appleyard inside five

Atif Shafiq

In the battle of the Rotherham lightweights, Atif Shafiq put on a fantastic performance against Lee Appleyard, securing a fifth-round stoppage and with it, local bragging rights.

Shafiq, a gym-mate of Kell Brook, scored four knockdowns on his way to victory through a combination of intelligent shot selection, and vicious body shots that Appleyard was unable to avoid.

Appleyard managed to rise from the canvas after every knockdown, but after rising from the canvas a fourth time, his corner knew their man was not fit to continue and promptly threw in the towel.

In a post-fight interview, Shafiq stated that he feels this performance should put his name amongst the top domestic operators in the lightweight division.

“I believe my time is now,” Shafiq told Sky Sports. “I’m in the domestic mix at lightweight, and I can’t wait to take over the division.”

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