Hearn to work Campbell hard
Eddie Hearn wants Luke Campbell to fight every month after watching the Olympic hero make the ideal start to his professional career on his homecoming in Hull in the early hours of Sunday morning.
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Craven Park, home of Super League side Hull KR, was a near sell-out to witness London 2012 bantamweight gold medallist Campbell top the bill in his very first outing in the paid ranks.
The 25-year-old, who was unsurprisingly given a raucous welcome to the ring, knocked down journeyman Andy Harris twice en route to an emphatic stoppage after just 88 seconds.
While tougher tests await for the Yorkshireman, promoter Hearn is desperate to keep his charge active.
"I want him to box at least once a month, certainly for the next year, and sometimes twice a month," he said.
"I want to box him in all the big shows we do all over the country, also take him to America. One fight at a time as far as Luke's concerned. The next one will be September 7 on the Ricky Burns undercard in Glasgow."
Hearn admitted he was unconvinced yesterday evening's show would be a success when it was first suggested to him, but added he was won over when he witnessed Campbell's popularity in Hull.
"I don't think it's ever happened before, someone turning pro in a stadium fight. I thought Luke was mad when he suggested it but after I came to Hull and saw the support for him, I wanted to give it a go," he said.
"We wanted to make a statement because we're going to put a lot behind Luke Campbell.
"Without Luke this card wouldn't have happened here, it would have happened in another arena but it was an audacious move.
"I think it worked well, I think the people in the city enjoyed it, I think it was groundbreaking and I think if we're going to reach out to the casual fans and the wider audience, which I think Luke Campbell's got the ability to do, we need to make statements like that."
Campbell rose to stardom after his Olympics success and has since gone on to become a household favourite after coming third in the ITV show Dancing on Ice.
He was competing at lightweight on his professional debut, which is four weight categories higher than when he fought in London last year, and revealed he has no intention of attempting to boil down to the lower divisions.
"I'd lose muscle if I got down to super-feather(weight)," he said. "The thing is when you're doing longer rounds, you've got to fuel your body efficiently so you can do the training.
"I was at bantamweight during the Olympics so I had a bit of time out, doing the Dancing on Ice and stuff, I put a bit of natural weight on and I feel great for it."
On the undercard, Kell Brook made amends for his first performance against Carson Jones with an eighth-round stoppage of the American in their re-match.
The unbeaten Sheffield fighter stretched his record to 30 wins from as many fights and re-ignited his world title hopes after seeing three fights with IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander postponed.
Brook, who was given a razor-thin majority decision verdict when he first met Jones 12 months ago, was fighting for the first time since October last year but showed no signs of ring rust by dropping Jones in the second round before the referee ended the bout, which was being fought at a few pounds above the welterweight division, in the eighth.
"I think Carson Jones is my nemesis as a fighter. When we clash, he's just got that hard head and that style. I'm just glad I've done him in and can move on now," said Brook.
"He's a tough customer and I'm just happy with the victory. I've got that frustration with Alexander off my shoulders. I can move on now, down at 147 and move onto big things."
Campbell's fellow Olympian Anthony Ogogo claimed the third win of his professional career after the middleweight stopped Gary Boulden in the fifth of six rounds.
Elsewhere, Lee Selby won the lightly regarded WBC International featherweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Romania's Viorel Simion, while Derry Mathews claimed the vacant Commonwealth crown after stopping home favourite Tommy Coyle in the 10th round.