2008 European Bantamweight Gold Medalist Luke Campbell’s 2012 London Olympic dream is well and truly back on track. Following his successful return to International competition last week at the WBC Night Of Champions in Cardiff, Luke is set to be back in action again this weekend at the Four Nations Challenge in Sheffield.
Last week, In front of a myriad of WBC World Champions including Heavyweight Champion of the World Vitali Klitschko, Luke convincingly won his Featherweight (57kg) fight, against China’s Jun Tan by a 11-5 points margin to place himself firmly back in contention for selection to the British Olympic Boxing Squad for the 2012 London Olympics.
Luke, a two-time ABA Champion, made history by becoming the first British boxer to win a European gold medal for 47 years following his magnificent defeat of the highly experienced Bulgarian Detelin Dalakliev to secure the Bantamweight (54kg) title at the European Championships in Liverpool in November ‘08.
His long awaited return to International competition follows a year long sabbatical from the sport as he recuperated from major tendon surgery. The injury to his knuckle tendon occurred whilst at a training camp in Kazakhstan, in March ‘09.
|trainer JohnnyEames with LukeCampbell|
Luke spoke briefly on his return to Team GB’s training base in Sheffield, “I was asked on the Wednesday if I was interested in fighting in Cardiff, at the WBC Night of Champions, on Friday. Of course I said yes. I have been ready and wanting to return to international duties for a few months now.
The first round was quite close, he (Jun Tan) was really patient, you know just waiting, looking to counter me. I have to admit I was quite nervous as it was my first international in like a year. It showed and it was 3-3 after the first round.
I changed tactics for the second round. I got my range sorted and started attacking him more. I’d get in, hit him, then get out quick. It was working well. At the end of the second I was up 9-4.
I changed things again for the third. I started putting him on the back foot which opened things up so I could stay in there and let off two shots. It was the same for the fourth really, I just boxed him and covered up when I needed to.
I think I boxed really well. I’m really happy and now I’m going to build on this and just get better and better. My goal is London 2012.
I really enjoyed the night. It was great to win, but the highlight of the day for me was meeting my hero ‘Hands of Stone’ Roberto Duran. That was special. I also got to meet many other stars like Zab Judah, ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith and more. It was awesome.”
Luke will be back in action again this weekend at the Four Nations Challenge – International Amateur Boxing Tournament – at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield, Coleridge Road, Sheffield.
The Four Nations Challenge will take place at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield Saturday 7th (Semi Finals) & Sunday 8th August (Finals). This International Amateur Boxing Tournament features teams from Great Britain, China, France & Khazakhstan.
Tickets are now on sale, through Arena Ticket Shop – www.arenaticketshop.co.uk – for the Four Nations Challenge and are priced:
Outer Ring/ Balcony – £10.00
Ringside – £15.00
Weekend Outer Ring / Balcony – £17.50
Weekend Ringside – £25.00
Pics by Gianluca (Rio) Di Caro