Boxing: Title delight for Mullender
PUBLISHED: 12:11 14 December 2017
Joe Mullender brought back a European belt to his Legends gym in Dagenham after success at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday set up the prospect of a five-day Euro double.
Super-featherweight Martin J Ward, who started his ring career as a schoolboy at Dagenham, bids for the EBU title against Spain’s Juli Giner at York Hall tonight (Wednesday).
And middleweight Mullender admitted his title triumph, stopping tough Welsh campaigner Lee Churcher after 11 hard-fought rounds, was a tribute to his training at the Legends gym under Jamie Williams.
“Jamie has played a big part in my success with all the hard work at the gym,” smiled the new champion, adding: “I made hard work of that.”
He needed to be in top condition to come through a fierce battle against Churcher, taking solid shots before wearing down a willing rival to be crowned the new IBF European champion.
Mullender managed to hand out more than he took as his hammering hooks floored Churcher half a dozen times and the willing Welsh fighter had a badly gashed eye when referee Steve Gray halted the fight after 50 seconds of the 11th round.
“I’m so proud of Joe – he’s my friend as well as my fighter and an inspiration to everyone at Legends,” said Williams who trains fighters alongside his fitness classes at his gym based at the May & Baker Sports club.
Meanwhile Ward, confident after winning British and Commonwealth title contests this year, predicts another Euro success at York Hall as he battles for the vacant belt against former holder Giner.
“It will cap a great year for me,” said Ward who appears on tonight’s bill alongside another ex-Dagenham amateur and Rio 2016 Olympian Lawrence Okolie, who is unbeaten as a pro.
The Eddie Hearn show also features Ireland’s Katie Taylor fighting for the world lightweight title plus rising prospects Conor Benn, Ted Cheeseman and Felix Cash.
A Queensberry show at Brentwood on Saturday includes Boy Jones Junior, Johnny Coyle, Charlie Duffield, Lucien Reid, Sam McNess and Charlie Driscoll.