Luke Jackson: “I’ve prepared like this is for a world title”

A highly decorated amateur career moulded Luke Jackson from a budding prospect to national champion through to becoming a seasoned veteran.

He travelled the world, earned a podium finish at the Commonwealth Games before proudly captaining Australia at the London Olympics.

Those were all long standing milestones that the goal-orientated and highly driven Jackson set long before they were achieved. However, it’s his latest challenge that appears the most unlikely out of all the coveted accomplishments Jackson has earned.

On Saturday night, Jackson (7-0, 3 KOs) challenges reigning champion Will Young (4-3, 2 KOs) for the Australian featherweight title in the hostile surroundings of Rumours International in Toowoomba. Given that Jackson vowed to never turn professional, his potential Australian title success will be all the more remarkable.

Less than twenty-four hours before his date with destiny, Jackson speaks with the conviction of a fighter who has prepared meticulously.

“I asked Billy Hussein when the fight was first signed what he wanted from me and how long he wanted me in Sydney,” said Jackson in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “I said if it’s six, eight or ten weeks I would do it as I want to win this fight,”

“My camp has gone great, I’m in tremendous shape and I’m looking forward to putting all my hard work on display Saturday night.”

Jackson, 30, is doing what few others would, giving all concessions to Young’s team, from a ticket deal to travelling interstate to challenge for the national strap. In spite of this, Jackson believes home advantage will count for nothing when the first bell tolls.

“As an amateur, I’ve gone to pretty much everyone’s backyard,” Jackson continued. “I’ve only boxed in Tasmania a handful of times out of one hundred and twenty fights so it doesn’t bother me at all,”

“I have over fifty supporters from Tasmania and all around Australia flying to Toowoomba to support me so it will be great to have their support.”

A proud Tasmanian by birth, Jackson made the difficult decision to leave home to prepare for this fight, setting up camp in Sydney for six long weeks in order to have himself in the best possible condition to compete.

Although he is missing home and it’s familiar surroundings, Jackson insists the time away has served him well as the quality of sparring has been sufficient.

“I love training at Bodypunch Gym, the vibe in the gym is great and we all push each other,” Jackson added.

“I’ve had great sparring for this fight from Billy Dib, Billel Dib, Dylan Emery, Paul Fleming, Youssef Dib, Geroid Clancy and the list goes on and on.”

“I’ve always been strict on myself and I’ve been a hard trainer, but this camp I have taking everything to the next level,”

“I really want this belt and there is no such thing as a easy fight so I’ve prepared like this is for a world title,” Jackson explained.

“I missed my thirtieth birthday, Christmas and New Years to make sure I win this fight plus spending six weeks in Sydney away from my family – it’s hard – but that’s how serious I take this sport.”

The title fight against Young not only marks Jackson’s first title fight as a professional, but also the first time he’s been scheduled to fight ten rounds. Despite this, the hard working Jackson believes fitness will not be an issue on the night.

“If you have ever been in the gym with me you would know fitness is not an issue for me, my last fight was eight rounds and I did it easy.” said Jackson in closing. “Billy Hussein had me sparring fifteen rounds with five or six different guys coming in and out,”

“I’ve been sparring three and a half minute rounds with only twenty seconds rest. I don’t stop because I want this bad and it will show on Saturday night.”

“I’m ready to put on a great performance.”

Photo: Marty Camilleri/Marty’s Knockout Photography



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