Nick Campbell joins a select few professional athletes to risk it all in attempting to be a success at the elite level of another sport.
In the past, fans have occasionally witnessed the greats of different sports turn their attention to a different activity within the sporting world. We have seen the likes of basketball legend Michael Jordan move over to baseball, former Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram switch his focus to cricket, and Andriy Shevchenko, former Chelsea and Milan striker, trying his hand at golf. Varying degrees of success have been found by those opting to shift their sporting attention, but following in their footsteps currently, is former Glasgow Warriors second row, Nick Campbell.
At the age of just 28, Campbell made the decision to embark upon a new goal in the form of boxing. Campbell has already begun to make his mark on the boxing world, progressing through novice, intermediate and elite levels and training alongside a host of top boxers including the GB Olympic team, European cruiserweight champion Tommy McCarthy and British lightweight champion James Tennyson. Measuring 2.02m and 120kg, he is certainly showing signs of promise, boasting a very respectable record of 11 wins out of 15 amateur fights, winning the Scottish super-heavyweight title in the process.
Campbell is pursuing his boxing career with a wealth of rugby success backing him, highlighted by his Player of the Month award in September 2011 and his crucial try in the 2011/12 PRO12 win over European champions Leinster. Campbell will surely be looking to replicate and even go beyond his rugby successes in boxing, stating: “I don’t think there’s ever been a Scottish British or Commonwealth heavyweight champion at professional level so that would be something to aim for.” His history in rugby will likely leave him well-equipped in delving into a professional boxing career. The former Glasgow Warriors player will no doubt be used to holding his own in the most physical sports and will be no stranger to following rigorous training regimes, crucial to any future success he may enjoy.
In addition to replicating some of the sporting greats such as Jordan and Shevchenko, Campbell will also be following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who had their own boxing careers respectively, recalling his grandfather as the inspiration for his decision to pursue this new challenge: “I’m sure he’d be proud of me, and probably telling me everything I’m doing wrong!” Campbell himself, however, is no stranger to stepping into the ring. Before embarking on his boxing career, at just the age of nine, Campbell participated in a number of amateur boxing clubs before his rugby career started to truly show promise. He has also recalled attending Hampden Park at the age of 10 to bear witness to Tyson defeating Lou Savarese as being another inspiration for his lifelong interest in the sport: “It was just amazing to be there, to experience that atmosphere and the hype around a fight like that. It was unbelievable.” Campbell will be looking to make his mark on the boxing world and based on his previous sporting exploits and ambition to make his father and grandfather proud, the former Glasgow Warriors player certainly seems to have the tools required to enjoy a successful and exciting career.
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