Joe Mullender

Joe Mullender captures the IBF European middleweight title

Published On Saturday, December 9, 2017By Tim Rickson

Joe Mullender bagged the IBF European middleweight title with an 11-round TKO of Lee Churcher

Home fighter Joe Mullender, 32, was straight on the front foot from the first bell, as is his custom. The travelling opponent landed a few shots downstairs as well as a couple of uppercuts.

Welshman Churcher, 37, was backed up constantly by the aggressive Brentwood boxer for the opening rounds, which were fairly evenly scored. The Welshman was pushed down by Mullender in the first minute of the second-round; he would find himself in that position many times more.

By the third-round, Churcher was already feeling the effects of the relentless style he was up against and bleeding from a cut to the left eye.

Mullender landed a vicious left hook to the head right on the bell, much to his fans’ delight in the crowd.

In the fourth segment, Mullender landed four consecutive left hooks before Churcher responded back with one of his own.

The Welshman complained about an elbow to referee Steve Gray and was then then warned himself moments later to keep the shots up. 

Another brilliant right hand rocked Churcher’s head back as the bell sounded.

Mullender, trained by Jamie Williams at the Legends Gym in Romford, started every round in the middle of the ring ready for the bell while his opponent was still edging out of his seat. 

The Essex boxer soon landed a six-punch combo before being warned for pushing. 

A crushing overhand right downed Churcher in his own corner who was then down again at the end of the round just from pure exhaustion but saved by the bell.

It was an untidy start to round-six with Mullender backing his opponent whilst trying to land the overhand right again. 

Churcher carried his hands low trying to flick out awkward uppercuts. 

The seventh saw another smashing right hand from ‘Smokin’ Joe’ land heavily, and soon after he dropped Churcher with a left hook yet the ref ruled it as a slip. 

He consequently took time out but didn’t look like he really wanted any more. A left hook staggered Churcher when play resumed but he fought back bravely and somehow made it to the end of the round with official Steve Grey having a very good look.

Mullender left waiting in the middle at start of the round again while Churcher was still getting off his seat. 

Two smashing left hooks landed as punishment for the wait and the pair traded it out. 

A clip from Joe dropped his foe for another count. A subsequent left hook decked him again but ruled a slip instead in the last 10-seconds of the eighth. 

Mullender started round-nine with a jab for the first time. A fantastic left hook from Churcher flush on the chin rocked Mullender’s head to the side but then he slipped to the canvas again. 

It was a bit more of a boxing fight in this round and Churcher looked like he was in it to win it for the first time. Mullender seemed to have taken his foot off the gas slightly, still walking forward, stalking, but just not throwing as much.

The 10th-round saw both fighters trading on the ropes. Churcher carrying his head low in exchanges was making it hard for anything to land clean.

A clash of heads halted round-11 before it barely started. A good one-two landed from the Welshman when under attack. The pair traded and the ref took a very long look at Churcher’s cut.

Mullender had been searching for a fight-ending shot since the first knockdown but in the end it was a left hook that grazed the back of Churcher’s head that finished the fight. 

The brave away fighter was on his feet ready for more but the ref had seen enough and rightfully waved it off.

12 Things You Didn't Know About 'Smokin' Joe Mullender

The IBF East/West European belt guarantees the holder a top-15 world ranking with the organisation.

The win has also boosted the ex-English champion’s chances for a shot at Tommy Langford’s British middleweight title.

Mullender was crowned the new English middleweight champion back in June after beating former champion and club mate Lee Markham to avenge his previous loss at the 02 Arena in 2016.

He decided to vacate his English title in September in order to secure a shot at the IBF title but is still determined to bag a British title showdown with Frank Warren stablemate Tommy Langford in 2018.

“The British title is 100 per cent in my sights still,” asserted the Essex boxer.

To follow Joe on Twitter, click here @joe_mullender

For tickets to the next fight, please call 07904 719 639

Joe would like to thank his sponsors LMAC Construction, J.Ebsworth Brickwork Services, Grilla Fitness, Alexander Rhodes Associates, AB Salute Gym and Agent Tim Rickson