Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport are delighted to that Team GB’s Olympic boxing captain Tom Stalker has signed professional terms.
Stalker’s debut will be in February and will be announced later this week, with the Liverpool man’s hometown bow to come at the Echo Arena on March 30 in Betfair’s ‘No Retreat, No Surrender’. Promoter Hearn has expressed his desire to have Stalker fight for his first title next year.
The 28 year old joins the pro ranks in the light welterweight division after a glittering amateur career, which included winning gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games before leading Team GB in London last summer.
“I feel I am going to be exciting to watch as a professional boxer,” said Stalker. “I felt it was time for me to turn professional now and see how far I can go. I have done everything I could possibly do as an amateur, bar winning an Olympic medal.
“Even though I didn’t medal myself, as a team I have captained the most successful amateur boxing team we have ever had and that was a big thing for me. It wasn’t just a three-week tournament it had been four years of trying to qualify to win those medals so to see all the lads and women do so well and win medals was amazing and I am very honoured to have captained that team.
“Winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal was obviously a highlight for me in the amateurs but I would say qualifying for the Olympics was a big moment after all the hard work it took to qualify.
“Since the Olympics I haven’t had a goal and I have been a bit depressed, especially seeing the other lads doing all sorts of stuff but now I have that hunger back and to get in that ring and fight is going to be amazing. The one for me is going to be March, boxing a homecoming in Liverpool. It is going to be amazing for me to be boxing in front of all my friends and family in Liverpool and that is when I will really feel like a professional.
“I think a lot of Eddie Hearn and I think a lot of the fighters he has; Carl Froch, Kell Brook and of course the Liverpool fighters he has got, Tony Bellew, Rocky Fielding and Callum Smith. I thought it made sense to go with Matchroom because Eddie is doing really well for his fighters at the moment.
“Kal Yafai, Scotty Cardle and Martin J. Ward were all really good friends in the GB squad and I see them doing really well now with Matchroom. When I was watching Scott Cardle’s last fight I was picturing myself against the opponent he was fighting because he is about the same weight as me.”
“I’m delighted to welcome Tom to our expanding team of fighters,” said Eddie Hearn. “Tom is one of Britain’s most successful ever amateurs and we are so excited about joining forces on this journey.
“Tom has a wealth of experience and we are looking to fast track him to a title shot within 12 months. He can expect a busy year ahead, kicking off in February before fighting in front of his home crowd at the Liverpool Echo Arena in March.”
Tickets for Betfair’s ‘No Retreat, No Surrender’ are on sale priced £30, £40 and £60 from the Echo Arena on 0844 8000 400 and www.echoarena.com – £100 ringside and £150 VIP tickets are available from Matchroom Boxing on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com