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Although the British team have withdrawn from the money-earning World Series of Boxing after just one season, Joshua could still join the hybrid APB tournament created by the world governing body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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower