Nick Campbell has swapped a rugby ball for boxing gloves after moving into the professional fighting ranks.
The 31-year-old spent eight years playing rugby with Glasgow Warriors and Jersey Reds before turning his attention to amateur boxing in 2017.
The 6ft 7ins fighter won 11 of his 15 fights at non-paying level and also became the Scottish super-heavyweight champion.
Former Glasgow Warriors/Jersey Reds lock Nick Campbell has become a professional boxer, joining the likes of Irish stars James Tennyson, Eric Donovan and Tommy McCarthy on Mark Dunlop’s books. Scotland U20 who debuted v Ulster and scored a try in a win at the RDS once upon a time pic.twitter.com/lpZdlJxAvp
— Gavan Casey (@GavanCasey) January 19, 2021
Campbell has joined up with promoter Mark Dunlop’s Belfast stable at Detroit’s legendary Kronk Gym, put on the map by late trainer Emanuel Steward and Thomas ‘The Hitman’ Hearns in the late 1970s.
He could make his pro debut as early as next month in Belgium.
— Boxing History (@BoxingHistory) December 21, 2020
Glasgow-born Campbell – who also earned Scotland rugby caps at Under-20 level – said: “It’s exciting, I’m buzzing and I’m looking forward to cracking on and making the most of it.
“When I was growing up me and my dad would always get up and watch Lennox Lewis, he’s always been a hero of mine, I used to watch Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton.
‘I’ve always had a passion for the sport’
“Boxing has always been a passion and in 2017 I decided to have a go at it because you only live once and you might as well give it a try.
“My grandfather was a professional so it’s always been in my family and I’ve always had an interest in it and a passion for the sport.”
Campbell insists his switch into the paid ranks is not just a gimmick as he eyes future success as a heavyweight.
He added: “It’s not something that I just woke up one day and thought: ‘Aye, I’ll have a go at that!’
“I’m getting into this to challenge for things and have a real go at it, otherwise, what’s the point?
“I know Mark is ambitious for me and my goal is to push myself as far as I can go.”
Promoter Dunlop told Irish News: “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, I’m excited.”