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Little and large winners may signal upturn in Sims’ stable

PUBLISHED: 17:25 13 October 2013 | UPDATED: 17:48 13 October 2013

Anthony Joshua next to Tony Sims (left) with his training team and promoter Eddie Hearn (wearing suit). Photo: Lawrence Lustig

Anthony Joshua next to Tony Sims (left) with his training team and promoter Eddie Hearn (wearing suit). Photo: Lawrence Lustig

LAWRENCE LUSTIG

East London manager/trainer Tony Sims could afford a satisfied smile at the 02 Arena last Saturday after the success of Anthony Joshua and Kevin Mitchell suggested he could be building the most successful stable in British boxing.

The little and large pairing of lightweight Mitchell and super-heavyweight Joshua joined the Sims ranks from opposite ends of the pro boxing scene, with Mitchell a 10-year pro and Olympic champion Joshua making his paid debut.

But both were quick to stress they were happy to be a part of Sims’ stable and are looking to follow in the world title footsteps of training partner and IBF champion Darren Barker.

Both won in style, Mitchell stopping tough Marco Lopez and hoping to face Liverpool’s Commonwealth champ Derry Matthews in December, while 23-year-old Joshua knocked out previously unbeaten Italian Emanuele Leo in the first round.

“I’m fighting regularly and I’m in the gym where Tony is keeping me busy. I’m enjoying it, I’m happy again,” said Mitchell, whose lone two defeats in 37 bouts have both come in world title challenges.

Joshua, who has a four-year plan to land the biggest prize in the sport, also likes the set-up, adding: “I have a good team behind me and I’m working hard.”

The powerful giant showed his punching potential when ramming home a ramrod jab and solid hooks as he hammered Leo to defeat.

Mexican Lopez showed his bravery against Mitchell, absorbing a string of powerful hooks and uppercuts before the 28-year-old’s lethal left to the mid-section left him gasping on the canvas at the end of the fifth round.

Lopez tried to fight back in the sixth but was rocked by another solid hook before Mitchell unloaded a barrage at blurring speed to put his rival down for the last time as the referee stepped in.

It was quite a night for the Sims’ squad - and he is confident there’s more to come.


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