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Campbell relaxed ahead of pro debut

July 13, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Luke Campbell is moving on from his Olympic victory © PA Photos
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At the 2012 London Games, Luke Campbell became the first British boxer to win a bantamweight Olympic gold medal in more than 100 years. But when Campbell makes his pro debut, he will do so as a lightweight.

In the 2012 Olympics, the bantamweight limit was 123 pounds. The professional lightweight limit is 135 pounds. That's a pretty significant jump for Campbell, who will kick off his pro career in a scheduled six-rounder against Andy Harris (2-5, 1 KO) on Saturday night at Craven Park in Hull.

Campbell didn't make a big deal about the weight, however. He believes handling some extra weight will be no problem.

He's also not committed to staying at lightweight and could possibly move down. He said it all depends on how he feels.

"I'm kicking off at lightweight," Campbell said. "I'm not sure about [junior lightweight], but I'm eating well and I just need to see how my body adapts to doing more rounds in the pros with the different training. I've got the height and frame to be whatever weight I want to be, really. Whatever weight I feel confident at is the one that I'll stick to."

Naturally, Campbell, 25, is pumped to get things rolling in the pro ranks nearly a year after his Olympic conquest.

"I'm not nervous at all, just incredibly excited," he said. "I'm just really looking forward to it. I've trained incredibly hard for it and I plan to put on a great show to excite the fans so they come back again. The best boxers in the world have to make their debuts, and that was just their first step on the road to world title success -- and ultimately that's my goal.

"It's a new leaf and I'm so excited about it. I had a good rest after the Olympics and I've got the buzz well and truly back for boxing, a fresh mind and a fresh body with new goals to reach."

When Campbell signed with Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn, part of the plan they came up with was to feature the fighter in his hometown. Turning pro at a big outdoor stadium is part of that plan, which Campbell is equally excited about.

"I would like to be really busy and box as much as possible as that's where you learn the quickest in the pros," Campbell said. "I was always busy in the amateurs and it suited me, so that's what I want in the pros.

"I know Andy will come to Hull looking to spoil the party, and I've heard from [Olympic teammate] Thomas Stalker and Martin J. Ward that he's a tough lad, so it will be a good test on my first night in the pros."

The card will also feature the rematch between England's Kell Brook (29-0, 19 KOs) and American Carson Jones (35-9-3, 25 KOs), who will meet at light-middleweight in a rematch of their welterweight barnburner last summer.

In another bout on the card, Anthony Ogogo (2-0, 1 KO), Campbell's Olympic team-mate and middleweight bronze medalist, will face Gary Boulden (7-9-2, 2 KOs).

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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