By Paul Webb
After this weeks announcement that Luke Campbell will fight for the second time as a professional against the all action Lee Connelly. We spoke to Lee about the fight and his excitement at the opportunity.
Paul Webb: Big news this week that you will be fighting Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell on the Ricky Burns card in September, when did you find out you had got the nod to face Campbell? and how excited are you to get this opportunity?
Lee Connelly: I found out I had got the fight about a week ago, my manager Carl Greaves rang me up and I couldn’t believe it when he told me, as a fighter and a boxing fan this is the type of fight you dream about ! I am more excited for this fight than I have been for any other.
PW: In his debut Campbell blew away Andy Harris in half a round, what did you make of that performance?
LC: It was a good performance for Campbell, I think Harris was expected to at least go a few rounds but he got off to a bad start and I think the stoppage was a bit early as he didn’t look hurt, but a bit overwhelmed more than anything.
PW: You are coming to this fight as the ‘opponent’ do you feel you have a realistic chance in this fight, knowing what a win could do for your career?
LC: I know boxing and know that Campbell is a great talent and has achieved everything there is in the amateur game, but this is the pro’s and anything can happen in the ring, I’m coming to give it everything I’ve got and make the most of this opportunity.
PW: Your last 4 fights have been against opponents with winning records and you are making a name for yourself as someone who doesn’t duck anyone, do you dislike the journeyman tag considering you have only had 6 fights?
LC: I think it would be a bit early in my career to say I am a ‘journeyman’ I have taken tough away fights because I struggle to sell tickets for home shows and also I like to test myself against good opposition, I’ll fight anyone but I’m always there to win!
PW: For those who haven’t seen you fight before describe your style and give us a little bit of background in to who’s involved in your training and management?
LC: Well my trainer is Andy Marlow who is based in Dronfield at S18 gym and I also train twice a week with Sean Thicket who has a few pro’s around my weight, and Carl Greaves is my manager and a top guy for getting me this fight. I’m a come forward fighter always looking to hurt my opponent, I enjoy a brawl ! But I can also box a bit if I need to, I want people to be entertained when they watch me fight and they usually are.
PW: You will be fighting in front of a huge audience on Sky Sports do you think that the big stage will effect your performance in any way and does it make the fight that bit more exciting to be a part of?
LC: It definitely makes the fight more exciting for me I’m used to watching the boxing on TV so to actually be fighting on sky sports is incredibly exciting.It will not effect my performance in any negative way but I definitely think it will give me a extra boost and make me perform even better.
PW: I have seen you fight on 2 Coldwell Boxing shows both fights were out and out wars and Dave was quoted on twitter saying you are his favorite away fighter in the sport, How does it feel receiving a compliment like that?
LC: I love an out and out war those are the fights I like to watch as a fan so I know when I’m in those kind of fights people will enjoy them, it does feel good having a compliment like that from someone who has seen so much boxing and it gives me something good to take away from a loss.
PW: Will there be a lot of supported coming up with you to Scotland?
LC: I don’t think there will if I’m honest, I struggle to sell tickets in my own backyard so Glasgow is a long way, I will have people watching me on TV and supporting me from home, and maybe a couple of people might make the trip which would be brilliant.
PW: Were you fan of the sport growing up,if so who was your favorite fighter and why?
LC: Yes definitely that’s why I started boxing, I only started when I was 18 but was a fan since I remember, growing up I liked Mike Tyson! And other fighters I liked are Shane Mosley, Roy Jones and Ricky Hatton. My favourite fighter at the moment is Floyd Mayweather I’ve followed him all his career.
PW: Do you have a message you want to send to your supporters and to Luke Campbell?
LC: To my supporters I just want to say thank you for your support and for believing in me, don’t miss the fight! To Luke Campbell, well done on your achievements and your Gold medal for Team GB, I respect what you have done but I’m not taking that respect into the ring with me I’m coming to better my career.
Follow Lee Connelly on Twitter @lee_connelly1 and catch him in action on September 7th Live On Sky Sports