1st August 2012
GB’s Luke Campbell kept his nerve to claim his place in the last 16 in the bantamweight division at the Olympic games, with an hard fought 11-9 victory over tough Italian Jahyn Parrinello at ExCeL Arena today. (Wednesday)
It was a close affair with Campbell just edging through, later he admitted that before the contest he was overcome by pre fight nerves, with the thought of performing not only in front of a loud excited, 10,000 capacity crowd, but also boxing hero’s including Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in attendance.
“It’s the biggest event on the planet and my first fight in front of the kind of crowd that would make anyone nervous. It was just about keeping calm and now I’ve got the first one out of the way I’ll get better.” said Campbell after the fight.
“I always tell myself that I won’t put pressure on myself and I’ll enjoy the occasion, but you can’t get away from the pressure – it’s there. But I’ve never worked harder in my life than I have to get to this tournament.”
The Hull boxer is tipped by many as Great Britain’s best boxing gold medal prospect since he burst on to the international scene in 2008 becoming the nation’s first European amateur champion in 47 years.
Next up for Campbell is his familiar foe Detelin Dalakliev, whom he will fight for a guaranteed medal on Sunday. Campbell beat Dalakliev to win his European title in 2008 and also knocked him out in the last eight of last year’s World Championships.
Campbell added: “I beat him for the bronze medal at the Worlds but he is a tough operator and I’ve got to be on my game if I’m going to go out and beat him.
“I was sparring with him earlier this year in Sheffield but I’m improving all the time.”
GB heavyweight hope Anthony Joshua fights tonight against Erislandy Savon of Cuba..