FORMER amateur standout and London Olympian Luke “Action” Jackson (5-0, 3 KOs) took time out of his training schedule to speak to Aus-Boxing about the sensational start to his professional career, his time as a decorated amateur, and how his foray into professional arena almost didn’t eventuate.
Luke Jackson is a real talent, make no mistake.
The 29-year-old Tasmanian is now embarking on a career in the professional ranks in the toughest sport on the planet, and is more than holding his own. The former captain of the London Olympic boxing team has made a fantastic start to his career with an impressive fight straight wins, ending three of those inside the distance.
What is hard to fathom is the fact that Jackson, despite his obvious talent, almost walked away from boxing after the Olympics.
He explains. “At the start my goal was just to make it to the Olympics and that was it. After that, I just felt like I had achieved what I set out to do. I went to the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, and the World Championships and numerous other International tournaments, so I felt like there was nothing more I could achieve, so that would be it.”
“After some time, I had a feeling that I wasn’t done with the sport so decided to turn professional.”
Since turning professional, Jackson has started his career in exciting fashion and has put down a lot of his success to then AIS national coach, Bodo Andreas, his father, Tony Pettit and one of Australia’s premier trainers, Billy Hussein.
“Bodo broke me physically and mentally a couple of times. I hated the man at times, but he built me up to be the fighter I am today. My father, taught me from an early age that with hard work, anything is possible.”
“As for Billy, I sort of wish I had Billy with me when I was an amateur. I have improved to be twice the fighter I was when I was in London at the Olympic Games, and I haven’t been with him that long, but he has brought the best out of me and things have been great.”
When Jackson was asked what he hoped to achieve as a professional, he made it clear that he intends on adopting a very simple approach, first hoping to capture a national title and, then to a regional and whatever will be, will be after that.
“When I started out as an amateur my ultimate goal and all I thought about for eight years was to make it to the Olympics as I’ve mentioned. It’s pretty simple really. First step is a national title, then a regional. If I am successful with that, and if a world title is there, I will chase it. I just want to be the best I can be, train hard every single day and dedicate myself to eventually being one of the best in the world.”
Jackson mentioned that he was very interested in being given an opportunity to fight current Australian champion, Will Young for national honours at 126lbs.
Outside of boxing, Jackson has recently opened up a gym in his native Hobart – Action Fitness Centre – which he has given him an interest outside of competing and by all reports is going very well for him.
“One of my goals outside of boxing was to open up a fitness centre where people can come and learn the correct way in an environment they don’t feel threatened where they don’t necessarily have to spar or fight. I have got over sixty clients now, and they all love it and it’s something I’m very passionate about.”
Luke Jackson is an achiever, a goal setter. There has not been many things in his life that he hasn’t achieved what he set out to do. Determination, focus, and a Spartan like work ethic has got him there.
The best is yet to come.
Words: Dan Smart