SOUTH QUEENSFERRY boxer Paul Appleby is set to meet up with the Edinburgh boxer whose path he has followed towards the big time, writes BRIAN DONALD.
In the 1970s, Edinburgh's Vernon Sollas, at 18, became the youngest-ever Scot to win the British featherweight title and Lonsdale Belt. Sollas has invited 20-year-old Appleby, the current British featherweight title holder, for an informal chat about avoiding the potential pitfalls that such title winning success at a relatively young age can bring.
Sollas , now a highly-successful businessman in London, said:
"I've been following Appleby's career so far with interest and I see some parallels between his career and mine as we both became British featherweight champions at what some might think was a ridiculously young age.
"Like young Appleby I could box, punch and move with a maturity beyond my years but things started to go wrong. I burnt myself out losing a European title fight everybody expected me to win and I made other mistakes that come when your talent exceeds your personal maturity – the biggest single danger when you are a teenage pro champion – so I never won the world title that I was freely tipped to win."
Appleby will, later this month, be awarded the "Best Young Boxer" title awarded by the British Boxing Writers, an honour claimed by Sollas during the 1970s. In 33 pro bouts, Sollas won 25, all but four by knockouts.