As an amateur, Luke Gibb (3-0) fought at the York Hall over a dozen times but on December 1st he graces the hallowed hall in Bethnal Green for the first time as a professional.
The former Team GB boxer, signed to JE Promotions, takes part in his fourth professional contest and second six-rounder against Braintree’s Dylan Draper (0-7) on the British Warrior Boxing Promotions event, featuring headliners Grant Dennis and Elliot Matthews both battling for the vacant English middleweight championship.
Gibb recalled hearing the news, “When Joe [Elfidh] rung me up and asked if I want to fight on the York Hall show coming up, I said, ‘yeah’, right away!
“As an amateur, I fought at the York Hall about 12 times, and I won the London’s ABA finals about three or four times there.”
The 28-year-old fledgling pro is excited about returning to his old stomping ground, “I think it’ll be good, to be fair. Hopefully, I’ll sell a few tickets fighting there. Got great history there, great place for the fans.
“When I boxed there as an amateur, I was young, so it was always a bit nerve-racking, and I was always in a championship final there, so it was always tense. I remember I used to do pads and warm-up on the stage but don’t know what it will be like this time round as a pro.”
Having experienced over 80 amateur fights, including more than a dozen appearances for England, and being selected for the Team GB Development Squad, Gibb is being fast-tracked by manager Joe Elfidh in his paid career.
He had stopped boxing altogether in his early 20’s after putting his career as a nightclub promoter at The Gallery in Maidstone first.
The former Nemesis ABC boxer, who used to train with Lewis Pettitt and holds wins over Southern Area champion Ricky Boylan in the amateur ranks, has won all three paid fights so far.
The popular super-lightweight triumphed over Ibrar Riyaz (4-114-4) on his pro bow last February; Stockport’s Jamie Quinn (2-37-2) in May; and his most recent scalp was against Fonz Alexander (5-64), winning all three comfortably on points.
All bouts were at Mote Park in Maidstone, but he is now relishing the chance of fighting somewhere different, “It’s good to have a change of scenery, I’ve fought all three professional fights at Mote Park in Maidstone so I don’t want to get too comfortable being in the same place all the time, plus it’s good for the fans as well.
“It’s another six-rounder; hopefully, I’ll have an eight-round fight next year for a Challenge belt on the next JE Promotions show at Mote Park in February.”
Despite residing in Bexleyheath, “Gibbo” trains at the Invicta Gym with trainer Ray Askew in Sheerness.
“Training is going really good at the moment, although we are working in the Brompton Gym in Chatham at the minute.
“I sparred with [unbeaten featherweight prospect] Archie Sharp today, and also with [Southern Area welterweight champion] Louis Greene last Sunday. Louis is a Southern Area welterweight champion, he's defending his title on the same show as me.
“Both good sparring and completely different styles, so I’m getting the best of both worlds.
“I’m starting to feel the improvements in myself with each passing fight, especially fitness-wise, and my body and strength is starting to take shape.
“I’ve been putting a lot of work in with my strength and conditioning coach and upping the sparring now so I feel like a boxer now, if you know what I mean. I did a lot as an amateur but was out for so long my body wasn’t in the shape of a boxer.”
Headliner on December 1st, Grant Dennis, also trains at the Brompton Gym with his trainer Veron Quammie. Luke shared his first-hand experiencing of seeing the Southern Area middleweight titlist preparing for his English championship challenge, “Grant’s looking really sharp in the gym and he’s training really hard for it so he’s putting the work.
“It should be a good clash of styles between him and Elliot Matthews, a real fan-friendly fight.”