IT has been a year of transition for Luke Jackson.
The former world title challenger, who now resides out of Sydney, has marked his change of state by signing a three-fight promotional deal with white collar firm, Corporate Fighter.
Having worked as a personal trainer out of their Surry Hills base for most of the year, it was a natural fit for Jackson (18-1, 8 KOs) to combine his punch-for-pay profession with his workplace.
After tasting the highest of highs in his interim WBO featherweight title tilt against Carl Frampton last year, it’s been a difficult road back for the former Olympic representative.
“After the Frampton fight, I felt like my life fell apart somewhat,” Jackson told Aus-Boxing.
“It was my first loss as a professional and my first loss since the London Olympics in 2012. I decided to move away from home in Tasmania, sold my gym, sold my car and rented my house out.
“I them moved to Sydney with no job or any thing set up, besides my trainer Billy Hussein. All I knew is I wanted to fight and I wanted to win again before my boxing days are up.”
A chance meeting fell in Jackson’s lap after walking past a local gym in his new neighbourhood, not knowing what the future would hold for him.
“After I’d moved to Sydney’s CBD, I walked past the Corporate Fighter gym and simply asked if they had any openings for a boxing trainer,” he explained.
“At first I was put on regular gym classes, before being brought on to the Corporate Fighter team. I’m so busy working here with so many amazing people, I have renewed energy and motivation.
“Helping these fighters prepare for their first ever amateur bout has been rewarding on so many levels, more specifically my own mental health. Not only do I try and inspire them on daily basis, they do the same for me without even knowing it.
“The gym has developed a 12 week boxing camp, where participants gain physical strength, but more importantly, mental strength. On completion of their 12 week journey, the participants, who are made up of corporate Sydney workers, take part in a black tie charity fight night.”
Despite its strong ties to amateur boxing, Jackson believes his new home provides a perfect balance between focussing on his own career, while honing the ambitions of those who train at his workplace.
With a return to world level still part of his short-term plans, Jackson sees his signing as the foundation for future success, including a world title fight on home soil.
“This signing is my statement to the world,” he continued.
“We have a plan and that’s not for one or two more fights, it’s to win that world title I’ve been dreaming of for the past 18 years.
“Corporate Fighter and everyone involved in the organisation truly believe I’ve got what it takes to bring that world title home to Australia and it’s that belief that has made the difference. Having the daily support of so many different people under the one roof is truly a blessing.
“As I’ve openly discussed before, I too have had my battles with depression and Corporate Fighter is truly dedicated to making a change in society by aligning with such charities and Beyond Blue and Black Dog Institute.
“I’ll also be promoting Beyond Blue throughout my journey, so when I fight, I fight for everyone who’s fighting their own battles on a daily basis. I want people to see that you can came out the other side and that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.”
The 34-year-old hasn’t ruled out a return to his home state to compete, leaving the door open for future opportunities, including a potential career swan-song in Tasmania.
“This move allows me to now confidently base myself in one city without the pressures of having to deal with everything involving my former business in Tasmania,” he quipped.
“It’s just one less thing I have to worry about when I should be focusing on nothing other than my upcoming fights. Now, I’m either in the gym training myself or in the gym training others, so my mind is constantly focused on boxing and the task ahead.
“Being able to re-establish a solid supporter base is also very important to me, so being promoted by a company that already has so many boxing enthusiasts involved on a participant and staff level is the perfect fit.
“I haven’t forgotten where I come from. Tasmania will always be home and it’s more than likely where I’ll hang up my gloves when the time comes. If the opportunity arises to bring a big fight back to Tassie, I’d be jumping at the chance.”
The chance to headline events at a marquee venue, including his promotional debut at The Star next month, was simply too good for Jackson to turn down.
“The Star is already the premier venue in Sydney and it’s the guaranteed venue for my two next fights,” he said.
“Not only is this venue spectacular for boxing, it will be filled to capacity with Corporate Fighter alumni, the participants supporters and the fighters from the undercard.
“My next fight will be held on September 28th and I’ll then have another in either late November or early December.
“Josh King just wants me to fight and not worry about having to sell tickets, which has very much become the norm for fighters wanting to get themselves on decent shows these days.
“It’s just another concern I no longer have, so I can focus all of my attention on fight preparation.”
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