Bexleyheath’s Luke Gibb (3-1) has prepared for the new boxing season by sparring with world title contender Luke Campbell (18-2) in his Battersea gym.
Gibb, a former England international, returns to the ring on the next JE Promotions event, ‘The Homecoming’ on October 6 in Maidstone.
He and stablemate Lenny Fuller (1-0), a 23-year-old middleweight from Maidstone, both travelled to South London to Shane McGuigan’s gym to spar with the Olympic gold medallist, who only recently set up camp there.
The 30-year-old from Hull fights former conqueror Yvan Mendy (40-4-1), 33 from Paris, in a rematch which doubles up as a WBC lightweight world title final eliminator at Wembley Stadium on September 22 on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight world title fight with challenger Alexander Povetkin.
Gibb sparred four three-minute rounds with old friend Campbell in what was his first sparring session back from defeat to Jordan Ellison (8-12) last February, when losing out on the British Challenge lightweight belt on points.
Gibb said: “I only went four rounds with him as it was my first spar back and he had people coming in and out. Luke is quite a lot bigger than me and really strong and sharp. He’s very elusive.
“I knew Luke from the Team GB development squad, but I was only on there for around eight months, although I sparred with him in the amateurs a lot, we did countless rounds together, I don’t even know how many we did.”
A lot has changed since the amateur days for both Luke’s. Campbell reached the pinnacle of the unpaid code when he bagged a gold medal at London 2012 and has come close to replicating the success in the paid ranks when he challenged Venezuelan stylist Jorge Linares for the WBA lightweight title last year, surviving a second-round knockdown to take the fight to a split decision on the scorecards.
Gibb’s story is very different, however, having quit boxing altogether in his early twenties when he struggled to keep up his Team GB commitments, citing the long drives back and forth from Kent to Sheffield every weekend, coupled with the need to choose a career and earn money. He returned to the ring several years later in his mid-20’s after joining up with Ray Askew in his Sheppey-based Invicta Gym and signing contracts with promoter Joe Elfidh.
He debuted in February 2017 and raced to 3-0 by the end of the year, winning every round on the scorecards along the way. He marked the anniversary of his pro bow by entering into an eight-round British Challenge belt contest with Seaham’s Ellison, but a second-round knockdown proved too big a deficit to overcome, despite bravely rallying back.
His next fight will be against Blackburn’s Naheem Chaudry (0-25) on the first weekend of October as he plots his return to title fights.
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