Olympic boxing hope from Barnsbury doing the Knowledge

An Olympic hopeful is training to be a black cab driver to fund his boxing dream.

Marlon Mellish, 21, of Lofting Road, Barnsbury, is learning to be a cabbie to support himself while he pursues a career in the ring.

But the London 2012 contender has a fight on his hands trying to memorise the 320 routes needed to pass The Knowledge (cabbies’ street road exam) – between finding time for his heavy training regime and part-time work as a gym instructor.

Marlon, who works at the Finsbury Leisure Centre in Norman Street, Finsbury, said: “People say I won’t be able to do boxing and The Knowledge, but I know I will – I just don’t know how long it will take!”

The boxer needs cash to pay for equipment such as gloves, running shoes, tape and head guards – not to mention his living costs.”

Marlon, who won the “achievement through sport” gong at the Spirit of London Awards in 2009, has more than 40 fights as a light welterweight under his belt, but he is now switching divisions to lightweight – and changing his national allegiance.

He recently dropped out of the frame for the Great Britain team and is set to take Jamaican citizenship to realise his Olympic ambition.

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The Islington born-and-bred fighter, who went to Penton Primary School and Islington Green School and whose dad is Jamaican, said: “I’ve got more of a chance of boxing for Jamaica. I’m going there this year to fight and gain citizenship. I know I’m a good boxer and I’m going to be ready next year.”