MARK Denton’s “amazing” dedication in life led to an impressive boxing career and a black belt in karate while he was also a talented artist.
And today, his heartbroken parents revealed the loving family-man side to Mark, describing the 31-year-old as a “lovable son and brother” who enjoyed a good laugh with his family and many friends.
Brian and Ann Denton told how their two sons, Mark and Craig, were more like best friends as they grew up together sharing all of the same interests – both going on to achieve success as boxers.
Mark was always a confident young kid, said Brian, looking back on his youngest son’s happy childhood.
Mark attended Jesmond Road Primary School before moving to High Tunstall College of Science.
His talent in karate was obvious from a young age, with Mark achieving his black belt when he was just 15-years-old.
But boxing was what appealed to the young man and he started taking the sport serious in his late teens, the start of a sparkling short career.
Middleweight Mark won 31 of his 48 fights as an amateur before briefly turning professional, winning his one and only bout.
The talent runs in the family. Older brother Craig won nine out of nine in the pro ranks.
Away from the ring, Ann and Brian described their son as “loving”.
Ann said: “He was just lovely.
“He loved a good laugh and loved partying and going on holidays.
“But he was extremely dedicated in everything he did, especially his sport.”
The touching words were echoed by Mark’s former boxing coach Tim Coulter.
Tim said: “I can honestly say I have never had anyone in the gym who was as dedicated as Mark.
“He was unbelievably dedicated and he was so sharp, if you told him something he would take it on board straight away.”
While Mark’s sporting talent led to success, his mum revealed how he also followed in her footsteps as an extremely talented artist.
Ann used to teach art and has still got many of Mark’s impressive paintings and other pieces.
Mark, a scaffolder by trade, was planning to buy a house with his girlfriend Sarah this year while he was also on the lookout for a new job.
Ann added: “He was always so happy in life.
“He never let anything bother him, he just used to take it all in his stride.”