As Appleby, 23, licks his wounds following his WBO Intercontinental title defeat to Ghana's Joseph Laryea at Braehead at the weekend, McCormack has urged the South Queensferry ace to bounce back in the same way WBO champion Burns recovered from setbacks earlier in his career. "While there's no doubt that Laryea dominated and beat Paul, I'll be telling him to take a leaf out of Ricky Burns' book," said the coach. "Burns was well beaten by both Alex Arthur and Carl Johannsen in British title challenges, but he dug in and used his self belief to get where he is today.
"Paul can do that too but I'll be advising him to go back down to featherweight where I firmly believe he can be much more effective and more formidable. I know he only lost by a split decision but frankly I don't know what fight the judge who voted for Paul was watching as he was well beaten. But I'll be telling him that he still has a great future as long as he has the same determination to overcome hurtful defeats that Ricky Burns demonstrated."
While Appleby's defeat disappointed McCormack, the coach paid tribute to fellow Capital boxer Alex Arthur who saw off Jay Morris. "I now expect Alex to have much bigger fights in 2011. He showed the old fight- winning left hook to the body is still there by decking Morris twice. Some people said Arthur was sluggish but he never lost a single round against Morris and gave him two counts - so he wasn't that sluggish.''
Ex-world champion Arthur was satisfied with his efforts. He said: "Morris told me that he actually outweighed me by nearly a stone by the time our fight began yet I still won every single round and gave him two counts so if I appeared sluggish that's because I felt Morris's weight advantage kicking in later in our bout."
Light-middleweight John Thain was another victorious Edinburgh boxer at the weekend after his stunning first round KO of Englishman Ian Eldridge. McCormack added: "The view of John among boxing insiders is that although he is a brilliant technical boxer he lacks a big dig, but he has been in our gym working on increasing his punchpower and this win shows it is paying off."