Family and friends of the former British heavyweight boxing champion James Oyebola gathered in Chiswick on Monday to mourn his death.

The 46-year-old, whose ring nickname was "Big Bad" James, died in hospital in July days after he was shot in a Fulham night club for asking someone to put out a cigarette.

Mourners attending the service at Our Lady of Grace and Saint Edward in Chiswick High Road included his partner Malin, his children and his brother, Kelly Oyebola.

Several hundred mourners gathered outside the church at midday. Famous names from the boxing world including promoter Frank Maloney and heavyweight fighters Julius Francis, Scott Welch, and Terry Dixon attended the service.

As the boxer's coffin was carried into the church a friend from Mr Oyebola's amateur days at All Stars Boxing Gym, Karim Redwood, watched with tears streaming down his face.

Now a professional coach for the Paddington based gym, Mr Redwood told the Times: "He was a gentle giant, a real gentleman. He was a champion boxer but he was also a successful promoter and manager.

"He will be so missed. And the way that he was killed - that just makes it worse."

Mr Oyebola was not Catholic and did not live in the area, but his family approached the parish priest at Our Lady of Grace and Saint Edward, Monsignor James Curry, to ask if the funeral could be held there because it was large enough to hold the expected mourners and it was near Gunnersbury cemetery where he was buried.

A spokesperson for Our Lady said: "Mr Oyebola was baptised as an Anglican. The parish priest was happy to respond to his request for burial for a fellow Christian."

During the 45 minutes service friends and family sang hymns including How Great Thou Art, Amazing Grace and Going Home before listening to a final tribute read by James's brother Kelly.

They then proceeded to Gunnersbury Cemetery where the 1986 Commonwealth Champion was laid to rest.

Mr Oyebola died at Charing Cross Hospital on July 26.