Boxing: Golden trio switch, stay and shilly-shally

Olympic champions return to the ring after taking a year off but Adams, Campbell and Joshua have all decided to head in different directions

None of Britain's trio of boxing gold medallists had thrown a meaningful punch in almost a year after winning their respective Olympic titles at London 2012 until the history-making women's flyweight champion, Nicola Adams, set about successfully defending her European Union crown in Hungary last week.

Bantamweight champion Luke Campbell went from ring to rink, swapping his slick slugging for "The Skater's Waltz" in Dancing on Ice, while super-heavyweight Anthony Joshua, his mobile constantly buzzing with offers from every top promoter, continues to keep everyone guessing about his future in the sport. Including himself.

But now the fists are about to fly again. Campbell has opted to take the orthodox professional route, joining the mushrooming Matchroom stable run by Eddie Hearn, son of the ubiquitous Barry, and making his paid debut in an open-air show at the Hull KR ground in his home town next Saturday.

Meantime, Joshua is under pressure to make up his mind whether to take the pro plunge or remain with the GB squad, a decision that is required imminently with the World Amateur Championships looming in the autumn.

Although the British team have withdrawn from the money-earning World Series of Boxing after just one season, Joshua could still join the hybrid APB tournament created by the world governing body AIBA's ultra-ambitious overlord, Dr C K Wu, which controversially allows fighters to box professionally while retaining Olympic eligibility.

Such a move was rejected by Campbell, a welcome bright and articulate addition to the pro game who has the image of his gold medal tattooed on his torso. "It was never an option for me," he says. "The problem with APB is that no one in this country really knows about it. Boxing fans only know the true professional game, the one which can make you a global superstar.

"I want to be a proper world champion, not boxing in some backstreet venue in a foreign country with no one knowing who you are or who you are fighting."

Such is the resolve of Britain's first European amateur champion in nearly half a century that, as well as sparring with seasoned pros recently in the famous spit-and- sawdust Gleason's Gym in New York, before the Olympics he also paid his own way to visit Freddie Roach's Wild Card gym in Los Angeles, where he stayed for a week picking up tips from the stars.

Campbell, 25, remains in close contact with former GB team-mates Anthony Ogogo, a 2012 bronze medallist, and Tom Stalker, who have themselves made successful pro debuts. He is also in touch with Joshua, but like everyone else has no idea what the big man is going to do. "I get the impression he is really torn in his own mind," Campbell says.

Joshua, 23, is being heavily wooed by Wu, a dilemma no doubt he was pondering while in the Royal Box at Wimbledon. If he joins Britain's Andrew Selby at APB, and gets beaten either there or in October's World Championships in Kazakhstan, he can knock a couple of noughts off his eventual market value, with promoters already reluctant to meet his agent's seven-figure asking price.

I understand he is seriously considering linking up with former world heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis, with whom he spent some time earlier this year. Lewis is planning to invest in his own fight academy in Jamaica, training, managing and promoting young fighters. ''I see myself as a sort of professor of boxing," says Lewis. Joshua could well benefit from such heavyweight tuition.

For Adams, 30, whose ever-sunny disposition has done so much to enhance women's sport, a pro career was never a consideration, despite a number of offers, including one from Amir Khan's organisation. "There are still things I want to achieve," she says. "I want to get a gold medal in the World Championships and be the first British boxer to become a double Olympic champion."

She and Joshua are expected at the ringside in Hull, cheering alongside Campbell's skating mentor, Jayne Torvill. The tall, fresh-faced southpaw has surprisingly elected to move up several weight divisions and will box Andy Harris, a 30-year-old light-welterweight. He explains: ''I know it's a big step up from bantam, but I'm eight or nine kilos heavier now than at the Olympics and there's still nothing of me, though I'm punching that much harder."

The Dancing on Ice experience, he says, also developed a few different muscles. ''Mainly on my arse! I kept falling on it." Something he plans to avoid as he aspires to achieve another Olympian goal and become the first British gold medallist ever to win a professional world title.

Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
filmDheepan, film review
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
peopleComedian star of Ed Sullivan Show was mother to Ben Stiller
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?