• Bantamweight

Campbell unfazed by pro debut

ESPN staff
June 18, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Luke Campbell won Olympic bantamweight gold at London 2012 © PA Photos
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Olympic bantamweight champion Luke Campbell believes his gold medal victory at London 2012 will see him in good stead as he prepares for his professional debut.

The Hull native has opted to use his Olympic success as a platform to break free of the amateur ranks when he takes on an as-yet unnamed opponent at Hull KR's MS3 Craven Park on July 13.

The 25-year-old will hope to follow in the footsteps of Amir Khan, who went pro a year after claiming silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and became WBA and IBF light-welterweight world champion.

But he will also want to avoid comparisons with Audley Harrison, whose super-heavyweight gold medal-winning performance at the Sydney Olympics pre-empted an abortive quest to land a world heavyweight title.

Nevertheless, Campbell is convinced the Olympics was a suitable proving ground for his prospects as a professional.

"Having gone through the Olympic Games wanting to achieve my ultimate goal, I learned how to handle pressure and use it to my advantage," Campbell said.

"I am a very content and happy person because I did something I had always dreamed of and no-one can take that away from me. The only pressure I feel is the pressure I put on myself to continue to succeed."

Campbell knows that his status as an Olympic champion means he will be subject to intense scrutiny from the moment he embarks on his pro career, but the 25-year-old is keen to use the platform to set an example to young boxing fans, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"Hopefully kids will see that I'm just like them, someone from a deprived area who worked hard and achieved my goal. It goes to show that you don't have to be from a posh area to be good at something."

Campbell was speaking at the launch of charity StreetGames, which will be working to get half a million young people from underprivileged backgrounds playing sport as part of the Olympic legacy.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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