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Campbell earns historic title win

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Highlights - Campbell's historic title win

Luke Campbell became England's first European amateur champion for 47 years after beating Bulgaria's Detelin Dalakliev at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

The 21-year-old Hull bantamweight won on countback after the bout ended 5-5.

Campbell had been leading by a point with only two seconds left before the Bulgarian brought the scores level.

But Campbell, the only Briton to make it through to a final, won having thrown more punches than his opponent during a thrilling encounter.

Many of the Great Britain Olympic team, including gold-medallist James DeGale, opted to miss the tournament while considering whether to turn professional.

It's a long four years now until London and I've got plenty to improve on

Luke Campbell

And Campbell revealed how a good luck message from DeGale had helped inspire him to victory.

"James was definitely inspiring to me. I spoke to him this morning and he gave me the support I needed. He was backing me all the way and told me to go out and enjoy it," said Campbell.

The last Englishman to win a European amateur title was Frankie Taylor who triumphed in Belgrade in 1961.

Campbell, who was competing in his first major international tournament, admitted the competition had been draining but hoped it would be ideal preparation for his long-term target, the 2012 London Olympics.

"It's the first time I've ever gone past three fights in a tournament so it's been a long 10 days and it's been very draining mentally but it's all been worth it," he said.

"The experience is in the bag and I'll move on to the next step. It's a long four years now until London and I've got plenty to improve on. The fact that the Olympics are going to be in London is brilliant."

And head coach Terry Edwards backed Campbell to not only make it to London Games, but also to win a medal.

"Luke is readily admitting he is not the finished article but he's dedicated and listened and it will take someone very good to beat him," said Edwards.

"There's no doubt in my mind he will compete in London and get a medal there."

Elsewhere Ireland picked up three bronze medals at the championships.

see also
Stalker suffers damaging defeat
11 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Amateur boxing explained
01 Mar 06 |  Boxing

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