MMA star Iain Martell has a date on Norwich fight night – as a pro boxer

Iain Martell at the Kickstop Gym. Picture: Chris Lakey

Iain Martell at the Kickstop Gym. Picture: Chris Lakey - Credit: Archant

Mixed martial arts fighter Iain Martell is to move into the world of professional boxing after being granted a licence by the British Boxing Board of Control.

Iain Martell with trainers Graham Everett, left, and Jon Thaxton. Picture: Chris Lakey

Iain Martell with trainers Graham Everett, left, and Jon Thaxton. Picture: Chris Lakey - Credit: Archant

The 26-year-old from Norwich – a huge hit on the local MMA scene – will make his debut in his home city of Norwich in July.

And while he insists he is looking for titles in a 'shallow' cruiserweight division, Martell hasn't turned his back on MMA.

'I would never close the door on MMA because for me it is complete freedom, there is so much opportunity to do anything in that cage, it is a beautiful thing, but pro boxing has always been a dream of mine,' he said.

'It is now something I have an opportunity to take hold of and I will take that with both hands.'

Martell has been a regular visitor to Norwich's Kickstop Gym for many years and has been honing his boxing talents under trainer Graham Everett and heavyweight Sam Sexton, but it is the cruiserweight division where he is promising fireworks.

'It is a shallow division,' he said. 'There are some good fighters in there, obviously Tony Bellew being the head as WBC champion, but domestically there are quite a few fighters I like and with experience I can do some damage in there.'

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Martell's MMA record suggests thrill a minute action.

'I think all of my fights I win by KO,' he said. 'I am not the sort of guy who wants to score points, I am there to finish a fight. I know for a fact that you can't knock everyone out, but nonetheless every fighter has that intention and, fingers crossed I will get the opportunity.

'You look back through my career even when I was a kid and I have never been in a boring fight. We are what we are – I can't pretend now to be a fantastic boxer and to use a jab and score points.

'I can box, don't get me wrong, but I am there to fight and I feel with the power I have got and the pace I can put on a man there will be an opportunity for me, whether it be the first minute or the last minute – whenever it is I will take it with both hands and look to finish the fight.'

The July fight night details are expected to be announced next week, with Martell being joined on the card by Nathan Dale, who is expected to move down to lightweight.

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