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Tyson fans left to endure a heavy wait

PUBLISHED: 10:52 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:20 05 October 2010

BOXING S most controversial heavyweight champion Mike Tyson came to the London suburbs this week and brought chaos with him. Tyson was in Loughton, Essex on Friday afernoon to open a new amateur boxing club and his visit to the area sparked a media circus

BOXING'S most controversial heavyweight champion Mike Tyson came to the London suburbs this week and brought chaos with him.

Tyson was in Loughton, Essex on Friday afernoon to open a new amateur boxing club and his visit to the area sparked a media circus.

The former heavyweight legend was in town to see ex-Hackney champion Vic Andreetti, who has is back in London after 27 years living and training boxers in the United States.

Andreetti was a former amateur with the Lion Club in Hoxton before turning professional and going on to win the British junior welterweight title.

He has returned to Britain to help establish the Boca club, a new boxing gym in Loughton that he will run alongside business partner Jim McDonnell, a renowned boxing trainer and former European featherweight title-holder.

The Boca club was originally started by Kirk McLoughlin, a fine amateur boxer who wore the vests of Hackney's now defunct St Monica's boxing club, before switching colours to fight for Arbour Youth in Stepney, the club that produced former flyweight great Charlie Magri.

Tyson was enlisted to help promote the new venture and his presence certainly stole the headlines.

The 41-year-old has recently been the subject of a big screen documentary, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last month.

And his visit to Essex turned into the sort of celebrity event that might have been expected of a Hollywood film star.

World snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was a guest, travelling from his nearby Chigwell home, along with Commonwealth middleweight champion and former Repton amateur Darren Barker.

But while the stars got the red carpet treatment, it was no fun for a dozen young boxers from the Debden-based club or for a group of young footballers who use the neighbouring football academy.

They should have met and greeted Tyson at around 4pm, but had a four hour wait before achieving their dream.

The local media fared little better than the youngsters present, unable to get any form of interview with the boxer and having to endure a long wait to get any photographs of him.


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