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Boxing: Joe Mullender must wait to face Lee Markham as injury strikes

13:30 19 October 2016

Joe Mullender (right) and trainer Jamie Williams (left)

Joe Mullender (right) and trainer Jamie Williams (left)

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Legends gym trained boxer forced to withdraw from rematch with rival

Joe Mullender must now wait until 2017 for the chance to avenge his defeat against Lee Markham after their rematch for the English middleweight title was rescheduled.

The mouth-watering second helping had been booked to top the bill at the Brentwood Centre on November 25, but has been called off because of Mullender’s elbow injury.

“Joe damaged his elbow in the first fight and it started troubling him again in training for the rematch,” said Jamie Williams, who trains ‘Smokin Joe’ at his Legends gym in Dagenham.

“He has seen a specialist, and it seems a splinter of bone is causing the problem so he must have a small operation to remove it before he can fight again.

“It’s real blow, Joe wants the opportunity to avenge that defeat, but now he should get the chance early in the new year.”

The former amateur clubmates forgot their friendship for an hour as they traded punches non-stop for 10 rounds in May at the O2 Arena and the accuracy of Markham’s attacks overcame Mullender’s aggression.

Promoter Andy Ayling (WAM Boxing) booked the rematch for the Brentwood Centre, where the pair, who both boast strong local support, looked sure to attract a sell-out crowd.

The November 25 show goes ahead as boxing returns to the venue, with a strong parade of local talent.

Crowd-pleasing English champion Markham faces another opponent in the top of the bill contest and the winner will defend against Mullender early in 2017.

The card is due to be screened on Frank Warren’s BoxNation channel, with popular prospect Boy Jones Jr. facing Martin Hillman in a Southern Area super-featherweight title fight.

Unbeaten super-welterweight Ben Hall, still awaiting an English title fight, also appears on the undercard alongside bright prospects Charlie Driscoll and Billy Long plus newcomer Harley Benn.

It looks like a busy weekend for the Warren group as the following night, November 26, is the new date for a big show in Cardiff headed by Billy Joe Saunders’ world middleweight title defence against Artur Akavov.

The show at the Motorpoint Arena was scheduled for October 22, but training injuries to Saunders and Liam Williams, due to defend his British super-welterweight belt against Ahmet Patterson, forced the delay.

The promotion also includes title action for Bradley Skeete, Tommy Langford and Thomas Stalker plus a contest featuring the explosive Anthony Yarde on the undercard.

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Meanwhile, Dagenham Boxing Club are looking forward to November 25 as the date for their opening show of the season at Dagenham & Redbridge FC.

The tournament was due to be staged earlier this month, but was one of six shows cancelled in four weeks because of a lack of boxers currently registered.

“We hope England Boxing will have their new online registration system in operation and more boxers will be available,” said secretary Danny O’Sullivan.

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The new Amateur Boxing Alliance (England) group launch their Novice championships at the TA Centre, Grove Park, Lewisham this coming Sunday.

The tournament includes entries in junior and senior sections with the winners going on to the national rounds in the following weeks.

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