We spoke with former Australian Olympian Luke Jackson ahead of his latest pro outing this weekend.
Luke Jackson is an undefeated Australian boxer, who campaigns at Featherweight, and holds a record of 10-0 (5KO). Jackson last year claimed the Australian Featherweight title with victory over Will Young in Toowoomba, QLD.
This weekend in Tasmania, Australia, he collides with former WBA world title challenger John Mark Apolinario 19-6-3 (5KO).
Apolinario challenged Koki Kameda in 2013, for Kameda’s WBA Bantamweight world title, losing a 12 round points decision. The two men will fight for the vacant WBA Oceania Featherweight title.
Boxing news and views caught up with Luke just a couple of days before his bout.
How’s the training camp been for this fight?
“Training camp has gone great. I spent a month in Sydney training with Coach Billy Hussein at Body Punch Gym. Training alongside and sparring with the likes of Billy Dib, Paul Flemming, Billel Dib, Yousef Dib, Dylan Emery and also TJ Doheny. These guys push me to my limits every day and I’m in great shape.”
Apolinario has won almost twice as many pro fights as you’ve been involved in. He’s also challenged for a world title, and twice for an interim world title. He certainly has the advantage in professional experience. However, he hasn’t claimed a win outside of his native Phillippines. Will you be looking to utilise your ‘home ground’ advantage, with a packed house no doubt cheering for their hometown hero? How much footage of Apolinario have you seen?
“I don’t watch any footage on any opponent. I adapt to the situation once I’m in there. Having over 100 amateur fights at the international level allows me to do this. I trust my team, Mike Altumura, Adam Wilcox and Billy Hussein to step me up accordingly and I believe that I’m ready for this challenge.”
How can fans buy tickets to your fight at the City Hall in Hobart, Tasmania, on Saturday night?
“All 55 tables are sold out but general admission tickets will be available on the door.”
There’s a four fight undercard for this event. Tell us a little bit about some of the boxers fighting at City Hall before your big clash. Johnny brown and Jo Corner, two local boys putting it all on the line to see who is best in the test, in what will be a very entertaining fight.
“Gary brown is fighting Uria Afamasaga both local boys also, should be a good fight. Jacob Daureen is looking to rebound off his pro debut loss and get on the winners board this fight. Matthew Triffett is fighting Michael Labrador in Mathew’s pro debut. Matt is an exciting young fight that has had some amateur experience with knockout power.”
You split your time between home(Tasmania) and the BodyPunch Boxing gym in Sydney, NSW. Tell us a bit about training under the guidance of Billy Hussein, and alongside fighters like Paul Fleming and Billy Dib.
“Billy Hussein has taught me a lot about boxing and life. Training alongside the likes of Paul Flemming, Billy Dib and Billel Dib all guys have the same vision as me to be the best they can possibly be.”
Tell us a little bit about your boxing gym. Where is it? How much is membership, and what kind of experience do your members get, when they train with and alongside a former Olympian/undefeated pro boxer?
“The gym is located at 6 pear avenue, Derwent Park, Tasmania. You will learn the correct technique of boxing in a safe friendly environment by someone who lives and breathes it every single day. We also have strength coach Joey Edwards running S&C classes 3 times a week. Memberships are $40 per week for unlimited classes.”
There are a couple of names sitting above you in the Australian rankings on Boxrec. Joel Brunker, and Nathaniel May. Do you have an interest in taking either guy on in the near future, or is the goal after hopefully winning this regional title to go on to commonwealth and/or world title honours?
“I will fight anyone my team tells me to. I boxed and beat most of them in the amateurs so I don’t mind who I fight. I respect every fighter and wish them nothing but the best.”
Finally, your countryman Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne fights Ruslan Chagaev this weekend in Russia. What are your thoughts on Lucas’ chances in this big heavyweight fight?
“I hope Lucas can pull off the victory for himself and Australia. I met him down in Hobart last year he is a great guy.”
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