Norwich’s Iain Martell plotting his path to a title

Norwich cruiserweight Iain Martell working with trainer Graham Everett Picture: Chris Lakey

Norwich cruiserweight Iain Martell working with trainer Graham Everett Picture: Chris Lakey - Credit: Archant

Iain Martell wants to draw a line under the frustrating start to his boxing career and plot a route to his first championship belt.

The unbeaten Norwich cruiserweight fights for just the fourth time this weekend, having made his pro boxing debut, after a career in MMA, in July, 2017.

Broken hands sustained in his first two fights delayed take-off, while a scheduled summer bout was called off when his opponent pulled out.

Dimitrij Kalinosvkij is next up when Norwich boxing moves to the Airport Holiday Inn Hotel on Sunday for an event with a difference – Christmas lunch followed by four bouts – and Martell is eager to get back on track.

The plan is quite simple.

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'The Southern Area is my target,' said the 28-year-old. 'I have one more fight in February and then I want to fight for the Southern Area, whether it be an eliminator or straight for the belt. That is what I am aiming for in the summer of 2019.'

If that happens, it will mean original plans are back on the table.

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'It really has been frustrating,' said Martell. 'You could not make it up – it has been so start-stop, start-stop, from breaking my hand twice to other niggles and injuries. Then my last opponent pulled out at 10 to 11 the night before the fight.

'It has been horrendous, but the struggle won't define me, it will enable me to do more and I will keep on going and I will get it right.'

Opponents withdrawing isn't a new phenomenon in boxing, but can be a back-handed compliment.

'The fact I am stopping people makes these other people reluctant to fight me,' he said. 'But I am two fights away from being able to fight for the Southern Area and that is what I want. This will be fight number four and I will get this guy away at the weekend, and believe me he has got a lot coming to him.

'I mean no ill towards anyone, but on the night and in the moment I will do whatever I can to put them away – that is just in my nature. Once I tick this box I look forward to a strong 2019.'

Also fighting on Sunday will be Norwich's Liam Goddard, looking to follow up his excellent debut win in October; debutant Owen Blunden and Wisbech's Joe Steed.

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