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Mullender praises Dagenham’s Legends gym after title triumph

PUBLISHED: 14:00 06 June 2017

Joe Mullender with trainer Jamie Williams

Joe Mullender with trainer Jamie Williams

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Winner thanks trainer Williams and supporting team

Johnny Eames welcomed former world champion Colin McMillan to his Barking town centre gym recentlyJohnny Eames welcomed former world champion Colin McMillan to his Barking town centre gym recently

Joe Mullender claimed the English middleweight title at Brentwood on Friday and was quick to thank his trainer Jamie Williams and his team at Dagenham’s Legends gym.

Mullender got the better of Lee Markham and said: “I did it for Jamie and everyone at the gym. They have stuck by me, so this title is for them.”

Coach Williams returned the praise, adding: “If there is one man who deserves to be a champion it’s Joe, after the way he has bounced back from his setbacks.”

It was a sweet victory over his former amateur clubmate Markham, who won the title when they clashed at London’s O2 Arena in May 2016.

A rematch last November was cancelled when Mullender was injured, but once again the friendly rivals produced a torrid tussle with non-stop action throughout the 10 rounds.

It was the aggression of Mullender that swayed the judges his way this time, as his close-range left hooks and effective uppercuts repeatedly found their target.

Markham took the shots and fired back with his own long-range attacks and at the end the judges were split: Ian John Lewis and Marcus McDonnell voted 97-93 and 97-94 for Mullender, but Jeff Hinds scored it 97-95 for Markham.

All agreed the sporting rivals had produced another contest that is a candidate for a ‘Fight of the Year award’ and already there is talk of a third meeting to decide overall supremacy.

“One win each, there has to be a third meeting – let’s get it on,” said Mullender and their rival fans would certainly welcome another helping of the thrilling action.

Boxing trainer Johnny Eames welcomed former WBO world champion Colin McMillan at the opening of his new Lighthouse TKO gym in Barking town centre recently.

Eames built his former TKO gym in Canning Town into one of the best-known in boxing and is looking to follow that success at the new centre.

Meanwhile, McMillan celebrates the 25th anniversary of his world title success with a special charity dinner at the Prince Regent Hotel in Chigwell on June 16.

The evening features middleweight greats Steve Collins and Michael Watson alongside other boxing celebrities and tickets are available by calling 0208 599-6823.

Cruiserweight prospect Lawrence Okolie looks to continue his explosive form when he appears on the Matchroom bill at London’s O2 Arena on July 1.

However, finding an opponent is proving difficult for the former Dagenham amateur after he has stopped all three of his earlier rivals in the opening round.

Those wins took place in Manchester, Glasgow and Sheffield and now Rio Olympian Okolie gets his first London pro date on Eddie Hearn’s big show.

Feature fights see Frank Buglioni defend his British light-heavyweight title against Ricky Summer and Matthew Ryan meet Ted Cheeseman for the English welterweight belt.

Also appearing in supporting bouts are Conor Benn, Isaac Chamberlain and Danny Dignum alongside the pro debut of Okolie’s Olympic team-mate Joshua Buatsi.

Barking cruiserweight Daniel Mendes goes for his fourth win in five pro bouts when he appears on the Goodwin Promotion bill at York Hall on Saturday.

Danny Couzens meets Ossie Jervier on the usual packed Goodwin bill, which also includes action for Spiros Demetriou, Rakeem Noble, Josh Burnham and Dean Richardson.


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