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Luke Campbell turns pro, signs with Matchroom Boxing

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2012 bantamweight gold medalist Luke Campbell has signed with Matchroom Boxing, and will make his pro debut in July.

Scott Heavey

Luke Campbell, who won bantamweight gold in London last August, has decided to turn professional, signing with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, with whom he will make his pro debut in Hull in July.

Campbell, 25, is viewed by Hearn as a potential future superstar, comparing his popularity in Hull to that of Ricky Hatton in Manchester:

"He's impressed me with his determination and popularity in Hull, the likes of which I've never seen in any city since the likes of Ricky Hatton.

"We are going to grow Luke Campbell all over the country but the journey will begin on July 6 or 13 in Hull with a huge outdoor event."

New Matchroom stablemate Carl Froch also believes that Campbell can become a big star:

"Luke has all the ingredients to become a superstar in boxing," said Froch. "The talent is there to see from his amateur achievements but what you don't see is the work rate and the desire he shows in training.

"It was clear when he was working with my trainer Rob McCracken for the Olympics that he is eager to learn and improve and he absorbs everything he's told and puts it into action.

"Away from the ring he's a great lad, very humble and respectful but he's confident and a funny guy too, so he's got the personality to put bums on seats and get new fans watching the sport which is what we all want. I'm sure we'll be chatting lots in the build-up to his debut and I can't wait to be there in Hull on a massive summer fight night."

One thing that could potentially stand in Campbell's way for true superstardom, of course, is his size. Though the sport no longer revolves around heavyweights, it's still tough to become a true major star in the very small weight classes, because there remains a dumb disconnect between casual fans and "the little guys," almost as if they're not some of the most talented and exciting fighters in the world, putting on good fights and such.

But, really, Campbell seems the sort who really could become a big star if he delivers, at least domestically, but it's unlikely he becomes a Hatton type, because frankly, I don't know that I'm likely to see a fighter who is a Hatton type in terms of connecting with an audience ever again.

Still, it's good to have a promising young fighter taking the plunge into the pro ranks, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Campbell fares long-term. He's got the skills, and he seems to have the drive.