Callum Thompson: “I have aspirations of being a world champion and multi-weight world champion.”

Callum Thompson: “I have aspirations of being a world champion and multi-weight world champion.”

By Jack Rainbow

“I have aspirations of being a world champion and multi-weight world champion.”

With the interview conducted two days before his debut, one thing evident in Callum Thompson’s tone was his confidence in himself, gained through months of hard work at Joe Gallagher’s g
Gym.

“I’m feeling good. All the hard work is done.”

This level of belief and confidence was surprising given his inactivity. It will have been two and half years since Callum made the walk, albeit at the amateur level, by the time he walks out on Friday night:

“To be honest I’ve been in the gym for months. In terms of camp, it has gone has well as it could have really. It’s been hard being inactive. But it is a bittersweet situation. It has given me the time to gel with Joe [Gallagher] and learn a little bit more in the gym, but it has been frustrating.”

To be trained by someone with the stature of Gallagher, before his pro debut, is evidence of just how highly rated Callum is. He described the positive effect of having such a world-class trainer on his overall game:

“It’s brilliant. Joe’s record speaks for itself. I’m in a very good situation to be managed and trained by him. Joe has done little things and tweaked little things but it has turned me into more of a professional fighter. I feel miles better and I’m hitting harder, so I can’t wait to get in there.”

The difference between pro boxing and amateur boxing is stark. Callum made the Olympics as an amateur however, evidence of his pedigree, achieving what many could not:

“Things are different in the pros, such as walkouts and ring music but I need to roll with it. I haven’t boxed in two and a half years so I am expecting to be a little bit nervous but I am excited more than anything.”

Callum recently signed a promotional deal with Frank Warren and will perform on BT Sport after this event. This ensures he will have one of the UK’s best platforms to move through the ranks with. Gallagher was instrumental in putting this together:

“Joe also manages Callum Johnson and he signed with Frank so they spoke and put some deal together. This is brilliant for me and I thought why not. He is brilliant with young prospects, and this is a big opportunity so I grabbed it with both hands.  I am looking to be busy this year. Four or five fights and I want to return in early September. If this goes well I will be looking to get back on the horse as soon as possible

Callum also described his style of fighting, and what fans could come to expect on Friday night:

“I am a front foot counter puncher. I study [Vasily] Lomachenko a lot and look to find angles and move around to pick opponents off. I have fought a lot of different styles though so I am used to adapting, so no matter what this opponent brings I have it in the bag.”

This admiration for Lomachenko shows Callum’s passion and love for boxing as a fan as well as an athlete. This does not mean he is getting over-enthusiastic about picking potential future opponents however, preferring to stay grounded and focus on himself:

“I am looking to get the ball rolling on my career first, before thinking of future opponents and I have aspirations of being a world champion and multi-weight world champion, however, I am aware this is miles away so I don’t need to rush it.”

When asked for a prediction, I got a predictably measured statement:

“Just to get the win. Whatever means necessary. I do have a bit of a statement to make and a point to prove, but no pressure on myself, and I look to win easily.”

The career of Callum Thompson finally sets sail on Friday night in Manchester. Many have predicted great things for him, and it will be exciting to see how he looks on a stacked card also containing the return of Marcus Morrison. Managed and trained by Joe Gallagher, and signed with Frank Warren, before he has even had a pro fight, illustrates his pedigree.

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