Former Jersey Reds pro Campbell joins the boxing elite

NICK CAMPBELL has vowed to help put Jersey ‘on the map’ in the world of boxing as he sets his sights on a second professional sports career.

Former Jersey Reds rugby player Nick Campbell is forging a new path in professional sport, as a boxer Picture: ANDY LE GRESLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
Former Jersey Reds rugby player Nick Campbell is forging a new path in professional sport, as a boxer Picture: ANDY LE GRESLEY PHOTOGRAPHY

The former Jersey Reds and Glasgow Warriors rugby player has hung up his amateur boxing vest following a four-year stint learning the trade – a period which brought both regional and national titles in his native Scotland.

The 31-year-old, who remained an Island resident after his professional rugby contract ended in 2017, will be managed by former Jersey Dinner Boxing Club president and Jersey Leonis stalwart Mark Dunlop.

‘I don’t think there has ever been a Scottish Commonwealth [Boxing Council] heavyweight champion, so that’s the aim,’ said Campbell, who had been working as a personal trainer at LH Fitness in St Helier.

‘I’ve been boxing since I finished playing rugby in 2017 and right from the start Mark told me if I wanted to go pro I’d need to get as much experience as possible as an amateur first. I think I’ve done that now – I’ve boxed 15 times and only lost four times, to GB podium boxers.

‘I have learned a lot. I’ve been to Thailand, Russia, Lithuania, all over the UK, and with my age and everything that’s going on at the moment I just think it’s the right time to throw caution to the wind and go for it.’

Campbell, whose rugby career included an appearance at the U20 World Cup in 2009, added: ‘I’m a Scot at heart, so it’s important to me to fly the flag, but also Jersey is my home now and I want to help put it on the map. Obviously rugby has been really big here for the last ten years but it would be nice to see another sport up there and to get the Island talking about boxing, with everyone behind me.

‘Over the next year-and-a-half it’s about getting as much experience as possible and learning. I’ve got a good manager in Mark, who will put me in the right positions and when he does I’ve got to perform.

‘The general rule of thumb is the first ten fights are your learning fights, but it’s heavyweight boxing so you never know what [title] opportunities will come up. Something might come up soon, it might be later, but whenever it comes I’ll be ready.’

And the current Scottish super-heavyweight champion will certainly not be ruling out potential bouts on adopted-home soil.

‘It would be amazing to fight in Jersey,’ he said. ‘I love the Island and I feel as though I’m a part of the community in Jersey now. I’ve got a lot of great friends and there are great people everywhere, so fighting in front of them would be quite a spectacle.’

Dunlop, who has working relationships with world-renowned promoters Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn, said: ‘I’ve been a fan and friend of Nick for a long time and I’m delighted he has chosen me to guide him on this part of his journey. He has been a top-level athlete for most of his life and his short but impressive amateur boxing career has been to a very high standard, with a dynamite punch, granite chin, stamina in abundance and a huge fan base he has the attributes to take him to the top. Im excited.’

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