Tragic Joshua was a ‘one to watch’

Joshua Hall (centre) and his friends.''NOTE: Father submitted them, but they're taken from Facebook.
Joshua Hall (centre) and his friends.''NOTE: Father submitted them, but they're taken from Facebook.

A MIXED martial arts star was destined for great things before he died, according to his trainer.

Joshua Hall was a permanent fixture at the First Generation Gym in Hammonds Drive, Eastbourne in the six months leading up to his death. The 23-year-old’s trainers had marked him as a one-to-watch.

With excellent boxing and wrestling skills, Joshua was hoping to be ready for his debut bout in the octagon at the Winter Garden in September.

He was found hanging from a dressing gown chord at his home in Macquarie Quay, Eastbourne on March 3.

Boxing coach and gym co-owner Paul Morgan said, “He had a bit of talent and he could have been something special. His boxing was real good and his wrestling was good. He could have been a star of the future.”

He added, “It just seemed so out of character. He was one of the lads, just a very nice kid.

“If everyone was as dedicated as him, life would be a lot easier.”

The gym held the Joshua Hall Memorial Wrestling Trophy in his honour on Mother’s Day. Joshua was admired at the gym for the way he helped newcomers to the sport.

More than 40 children from across East Sussex gathered for the day and all walked away with a trophy. Joshua’s father Steve Hall organised the event so every child was a winner. “Joshua was not a loud-mouth, he was not a quiet lad, he was just one of us. He would laugh and joke with everyone.

“It was really sad. You couldn’t really fault him, he was just a decent, all-round nice lad. I would be very surprised if anyone had a bad word to say about him,” said Mr Morgan.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded an open verdict at the inquest into Joshua’s death on May 17 at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Hall thought his son, dressed in gym clothes, was practising how to handle a headlock when he died. He said Joshua was forced to throw in the towel in a training bout after being placed in a stranglehold.

Mr Craze said he could not rule out Mr Hall’s theory, but said it was more likely, if not provable, that Joshua – who had taken cocaine before his death – had committed suicide.