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Batten title win is remembered

PUBLISHED: 14:22 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:32 05 October 2010

A HOST of well-known fighting figures from the East End will pay tribute to former British light middleweight champion Jimmy Batten at a testimonial dinner at the Waterman s Arms pub on the Isle of Dogs on Saturday night. The dinner will be held to mark t

A HOST of well-known fighting figures from the East End will pay tribute to former British light middleweight champion Jimmy Batten at a testimonial dinner at the Waterman's Arms pub on the Isle of Dogs on Saturday night.

The dinner will be held to mark the 30th anniversary of Batten winning the Lonsdale belt with a successful defence against Tony Poole, when he scored a 13th round stoppage victory at the Wembley Conference Centre in September 1978.

Millwall favourite Batten, now aged 52, had first claimed the vacant British light-middleweight title in his 19th fight, stopping Albert Hillman in 1977 at the Albert Hall.

He was regarded as one of the country's most promising fighters after his defeat of Poole, but Batten struggled to live up to expectations, losing a European title fight to unfancied Frenchman Gilbert Cohen the following year.

Batten went on to enjoy some success abroad - taking all-time great Roberto Duran to a disputed points decision during his American campaign in 1982.

The fighter, who first showed his outstanding ability as an amateur at Poplar and West Ham amateur boxing clubs, retired after an unsuccessful bid to regain his British title against Prince Rodney in 1983.

He has later enjoyed a new career as a well known compère and entertainer around local pubs and clubs in east London.

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