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Welding lecturer solders on with Olympic ref dream

welding lecturer with his fists up

Mullan from Ipswich recently represented Team GB with Olympic hopefuls in Finland

A welding lecturer continues to pack a punch when it comes to boxing as he steps up his bid to referee at the Olympics.

Simon Mullan, 47, from Ipswich started out as a boxer himself, where he fought the likes of Joe Calzaghe as an amateur.

Since hanging up his gloves, he has ironed out a career for himself as a welding lecturer at Suffolk New College.

Aside from family time, the Welshman dedicates most of his free time to boxing as a referee.

He has caught the eye of Team GB officials and is regularly asked to attend high standard European competitions as a referee and judge.

He often gets to travel with Team GB boxers and most recently he visited Finland last month with two female British hopefuls called Rosie Eccles and Cindy Ngamba.

And whilst attending the Paris Olympics as an official is a bit too soon, his lifetime ambition is to ref on the biggest stage of all – possibly in Los Angeles.

Mullan – who also trains Lewis Richardson – a former Olympian who is still in the mix to go to Paris 2024 and who also won a silver medal at European Championships is 2022 – reflected on his recent trip and his hopes for the future.

He said: “It was an international box cup tournament where ten countries came together to compete against each other in Finland.

“It was a big tournament – it’s been running for 42 years – and it was a pleasure to be involved.

“I was lucky enough to travel with Rosie and Cindy who have qualified for the summer Olympics. They both got medals (Rosie got a bronze and Cindy got gold) in Finland and I’ll be following them closely in Paris.

“Overall it was a brilliant spending time with elite athletes and officiating at a top contest and it has whetted my appetite even more to referee at a future Olympics.  That is my dream and I’m optimistic that I can fulfil it.”                                                                                                

After Finland, Mullan travelled to Derby where he met up with another former Olympic medallist called Ben Whittaker who is currently making waves as a professional boxer.

Whittaker was commentating at this elite event with Fabio Wardley’s most recent opponent Frazer Clarke.

Mullan – who had come across Whittaker many times over the years because of his association with Lewis Richardson – said: “Ben is a great talent and I think he is destined for the top. I talked to him about how people are going to want to knock him out because of his antics inside and outside the ring – but he knows what he is doing.

“I’ve known him since he was a kid he has always been special – I think he will follow in the same footsteps as people like Prince Naseem and Chris Eubanks.

“He might be controversial – but he can back it up – he will definitely be a world champion in my opinion.”

But does he ever mention his passion for boxing in the classroom at Suffolk New College?

Mullan added: “I talk to students all the time. To be great at boxing you have to be hard working, committed and dedicated to your craft. And it’s the same with welding – so there is definitely an overlap – and I try and instil these positive characteristics during lessons all the time.”

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