Campbell confirms pro switch
Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell has confirmed his move to the professional ranks, with his debut set for July in his home city of Hull.
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Twenty-five-year-old Campbell, a bantamweight winner in London last summer, returned to the capital on Tuesday to be unveiled as the latest addition to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sport stable.
The move comes at the end of a busy winter for Campbell - a star of ITV's 'Dancing on Ice' programme - and signals a return to competitive boxing.
Although an opponent, date and venue are still to be confirmed, Campbell and Hearn have both said it will be held in Hull in July.
And, after medalling in the amateur ranks across a 13-year unpaid career, Campbell is looking forward to making the step up.
"I am overwhelmed to be a part of the Matchroom stable," he said.
"I am very excited about our journey together and where we can go. I have been an amateur boxer, boxing for Great Britain for the last 13 years, and I have won medals at every major elite tournament.
"I have always known I wanted to be a professional fighter. I have always wanted to be a world champion as a professional boxer and the amateur career was that stepping stone.
"The experiences boxing around the world, in Russia, Germany, everywhere I have boxed against tough, hard opponents, all of them were learning curves for me for this real game which is the professional ranks."
Campbell is already afforded hero status in Hull and, having had the whole of the ExCeL cheering for him last summer, is unlikely to crack under the pressure of the big time.
"I think I learnt a lot from the Olympic experience. It was the first time going out there where you had so much pressure on your shoulders, boxing for 10,000 people who were there for you and cheering for you," he said.
"I use the fans for my benefit; Every time they cheered that raised my game a little bit. To handle that type of pressure, especially in your own country, was tough but I went out there, I enjoyed it and learnt a lot from it. Experiences like that will help me in my pro career."
Hearn, who has said that Campbell's long-time friend and training partner Tommy Coyle will fight Derry Matthews for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title in what will be an eagerly-anticipated domestic scrap on the same bill, is looking forward to getting started with his new signing.
"This is a huge day not only for Luke Campbell but for British boxing. We have someone in Luke that can penetrate fresh audiences and breathe new life into the sport," he said.
"Luke is a tremendous young fighter and the perfect role model with a backing in his home city like I have never seen.
"The journey will begin via a huge outdoor event in Hull in early July and fans will be able to watch Luke at Matchroom shows all over the country and of course live on Sky Sports as he learns his trade in the professional game."