Instructor at Pure Body Health gym in Dunmow achieves boxing glory at sold-out Brentwood Centre

PUBLISHED: 14:01 04 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:01 04 April 2018

Angus McLaren, 22,  won the 2018 EBA Southern Area title. Picture: CONTRIBUTED.

Angus McLaren, 22, won the 2018 EBA Southern Area title. Picture: CONTRIBUTED.

Archant

A former Felsted pupil and fitness instructor has become an Essex boxing champion, despite only taking up the sport competitively 18 months ago.

Angus McLaren, 22, who works at Pure Body Health in Dunmow High Street beat the reigning champion to win the Essex Boxing Association Southern Area championship in front of more than 2,000 people on March 17 at the sold-out Brentwood Centre.

Angus ran the London Marathon when he was 18 and still in school, took part in inter-county races and taught Boxercise classes before he started fighting competitively a year and a half ago. His victory at the Brentwood centre was only his sixth competitive fight.

He said: “I love boxing. There is not one thing that I don’t really like about it. I even like the nerves before a match, they give me energy.”

He added: “I was looking for something to channel all my energy into. It is very easy to train, but then you’re just training, and I wanted to test my fitness.”

Embarking on a 10-week training programme before the match, Angus lost almost a stone in preparation and was coached by John Ox and Adrian Martin at Box2Burn. “Throughout my training my coaches made me feel positive about the match. They said ‘you can do this, you can beat this guy’ so I felt I could do it. They showed me it wasn’t just a shot in the dark.

“This was my first time fighting a south paw, which made it harder, because you are basically looking at a mirror image. Before the fight you have to study how the other guy fights, how they move, and what stance they take.” A south paw is a term for a left-handed boxer.

A group of 35 members of Angus’ family and friends saw him take home the hefty black and gold championship belt on the night. Angus took victory by virtue of a technical knock out after his opponent withdrew from the fight. After the match he and five friends from his boxing club, who had also taken part in the competition, headed down to the Victoria Arms pub, for a well-deserved celebration.

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