TALENTED featherweight prospect Luke Jackson is looking to make up for lost time.
With a portion of his year derailed due to an untimely hand injury, the undefeated Tasmanian closed out 2014 strong, fighting twice in the space of eight weeks.
Having now had seven fights in the paid ranks, Jackson (7-0, 3 KOs) is looking to ride into next year with wet sails, with intentions of challenging for the national strap in his first fight back.
“I started this year off well, with a good win over Hwi Jong Kim in February but then broke my left thumb in my next fight, knocking out Sam Rogers in the second round,” said Jackson in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing.
“The injury put me out of the ring for six months and was very frustrating,”
“I was able to get my business Action Fitness Centre up and running while I was out of the ring. I then came back with two good wins against Karim Afghan and most recently, Ruben Manakane.”
As he mentioned with great pride, Jackson, 29, is driven with both his lofty goals inside and outside of the ring and with his gym now fully functional, Jackson is looking forward to a prosperous new year in both boxing and in business.
However, with the early success the former Olympian has achieved, comes the frustration behind closed doors that few witness. Due to living situation, which sees Jackson based in Tasmania, he is forced to spend weeks on end living out of suitcases, given the fact he trains for fights out of the highly regarded Bodypunch Gymnasium in Sydney.
“The hardest thing for me is that I have a home in Tasmania that I have to pay for and my own gym that I have to try and employ other trainers to take for me while I’m away,” Jackson explained. “It’s very, very difficult living in a hotel for months on end, but once again I done it so much as an amateur boxer it just comes natural to be now,”
“People that have world class training facilities and trainers at their door step should consider themselves lucky, I don’t know if there are many people that would do what I have done to be the best boxer I can be,”
“I’ve had over a hundred amateur fights with ninety of them being international, I’ve been in the ring with some very experienced and quality opponents and this all plays a big roll in my boxing now as a professional,”
Despite his limited experience as a professional, Jackson fights with the maturity of a seasoned professional. In part, this can be relayed to the fact he fought at the highest level as an amateur – scoring some impressive wins – most notably over reigning WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters.
This holds Jackson in good stead due to his hardwork and persistence, which he put on display in his most recent fight, a comprehensive eight round points win over durable Indonesian Ruben Manakane earlier this month, doubling his longest duration for any previous fight he has had as a professional.
“It was a good fight for me, I’ve wanted the longer rounds for a while now but things happen and this was the first time I was scheduled to box eight rounds,” Jackson continued. “I slowly break my opponents down – that’s my style – and I feel I get better as the fight goes on,”
“This fight was difficult because I had bad stomach cramps all during the fight, but once you’re in the ring you have to fight no matter what is happening,”
“I really believe if I didn’t have stomach cramps I could’ve stopped him early – as I hurt him on several occasions – but I couldn’t follow up my attacks cause my stomach was in real pain. My coach Billy Hussein just told me to keep boxing and being smart and that’s what I did,”
While the boxing industry is one that operates on a day-to-day basis, Jackson has made his intentions loud and clear for next year. He doesn’t mind who he faces, as long as the Australian featherweight title is on the line.
“I’ve told my team that I want the Australian featherweight title for my next fight,” said Jackson in closing. “I believe I can win the belt and I will do everything in my power to make that happen,”
Words: Brock Ellis
Photo: Visual Delight © Damian Brierty