Boxing: Team GB's Luke Campbell beats Jayn Parrinello in Olympic bantamweight boxing

 

Luke Campbell shrugged off an attack of nerves to book his place in the last 16 of the Olympic bantamweight division with a difficult 11-9 win over tough Italian Jahyn Parrinello at ExCeL tonight.

Campbell admitted the experience of fighting in front of a raucous, 10,000 capacity crowd - including Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield - contributed to his Olympic debut being a little too close for comfort.

Campbell said: "It's the biggest event on the planet and my first fight in front of the kind of crowd that would make anyone nervous. It was just about keeping calm and now I've got the first one out of the way I'll get better.

"I always tell myself that I won't put pressure on myself and I'll enjoy the occasion, but you can't get away from the pressure - it's there. But I've never worked harder in my life than I have to get to this tournament."

The Hull fighter has matured into arguably Great Britain's best boxing gold medal prospect since he burst on to the international scene in 2008, when he became the nation's first European amateur champion in 47 years.

Injury and inconsistency briefly threatened to derail his push towards London, but Campbell rebounded to claim silver in last year's World Championships, beaten only by Cuban Lazaro Alvarez Estrada, whom he could meet in the London final.

Parrinello had the advantage of having already got his campaign up and running, having beaten Jonas Matheus of Namibia in a straightforward first-round clash on Sunday, in which he looked rugged and a little crude.

There were few other form lines to unduly concern Campbell - Parrinello, ranked 19th in the world, had been well beaten by Campbell's GB team-mate Gamal Yafai in the European Championships in 2010, and lost in the first round in Beijing.

But Campbell started slowly, allowing the Italian to dictate the early stages, although Campbell's success with straight lefts and rights through Parrinello's guard suggested he was a little unfortunate to only tie the first round 3-3.

Although a timely sharp left brought roars from the crowd, Campbell continued to struggle to find his range in the second, with the Italian looking a much improved fighter from the man who flailed through his first-round win.

But Campbell deserved to shade the round by two points to move into an 8-6 lead, and although he continued to ship occasional right hands from his lively opponent, the 24-year-old edged home to keep his medal hopes on track.

Next up for Campbell is his familiar foe Detelin Dalakliev, whom he will fight for a guaranteed medal on Sunday. Campbell beat Dalakliev to win his European title in 2008 and also knocked him out in the last eight of last year's World Championships.

Campbell added: "I beat him for the bronze medal at the Worlds but he is a tough operator and I've got to be on my game if I'm going to go out and beat him.

"I was sparring with him earlier this year in Sheffield but I'm improving all the time."

PA

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015