By Dominic Hadi (Instagram – @domhadi)
The journey into professional boxing is a straightforward route for the majority. Start in the amateurs, build the experience, maybe win some titles along the way and make the move to the pro’s. Luke ‘Hands of Godstone’ Pearson (1-0) did not take the stereotypical steps in to the pro game, forging his craft in white collar and Queensbury shows under the guidance of notorious coach and cut man Ian ‘Jumbo’ Johnson.
Having made his pro debut in March in a featherweight bout against journeyman Ricky Leach (3-39-1) on the Siesta Boxing ‘Loose Cannons’ event, Pearson makes his second successive outing under Al Siesta (at super bantamweight). He fights once again in the Bracknell Leisure Centre on Saturday 29th June at the Boxing ‘Summer Ball’. I caught up with both Luke and Jumbo to discuss his debut, his next fight and much more.
On the Journey to the Pro’s
Luke: I have wanted to go in to the pro’s since I was twenty-one, but Jumbo always said he will tell me when I was ready. I needed the experience, I needed to get to the right weight and I have worked hard to get there which I believe showed in my debut.
Jumbo: When Luke first came to the gym he was 12 stone, with one white collar bout. I told him if he wanted to go somewhere with this we would need to get him down in weight because at his size that was definitely not the weight he needed to be at. so we got him some more bouts on white collar and Queensbury shows and now at the age of twenty-six this is the time for him to make the move.
On Luke’s pro debut
Luke: I was happy to get in there at last and showcase my skills. I feel I moved well, switching my stances, going to the body. It was a good performance, but I will never be fully satisfied. I let Leach throw too many shots on me at times and though they didn’t affect me you can’t let that happen in this game as anything is possible. I took some good lessons from that fight.
Jumbo: He done well, I know Ricky Leach can seem too defensive at times, but he came to fight and he put it on Luke at times and that’s exactly what I want. You cannot mollycoddle fighters forever and at twenty-six-years-old I need to give Luke some challenges to prepare him.
On Luke’s next fight
Luke: Nothing’s changed in the process. I’m still living the life correctly, training hard eating right. We thought we had the opponent booked, but it fell through so right now we are getting a new opponent in place. I leave that to Jumbo to arrange and I focus fully on preparing for June 29th.
Jumbo: currently we are in discussions with a southpaw fighter and I think it’s a good fight for Luke. Why put him in front of 15 orthodox opponents before he meets a southpaw? He needs to be able to adapt in his career to each fight and the sooner he faces these challenged the further he will go in the shortest time.
On the brawl at the end of the last Siesta show
Luke: I had already left when it happened, but of course I heard about it. It was a shame to put a black eye on such a great event. Both fighters are very skilled and the fight was a great win for Luther (Clay). At the end of the day people make mistakes and it happens and I’m just glad we are able to come back to Bracknell and put on another great show without such a sour ending.
Jumbo: With these types of shows you need to have strong security. I regularly work on the Matchroom shows as a cut-man and that is the one thing you can always see when something kicks-off in the crowd they are on it and shut it down straight away. Luther made a mistake and I spoke to him afterwards and he knows he made a mistake and was sorry. Luther is a great fighter and a good bloke and he got a lot of blame when he was in the ring when it kicked off. Things were said to provoke both sides and he doesn’t deserve all the blame. He now has the opportunity to make it up to Bracknell and Siesta boxing by putting on a great showing on the 29th.
On Siesta Boxing
Luke: It was a great show, ran really well and professionally. Went really smooth and taken care of. I got the fight from Jumbo’s relationship with Al and I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to fight again on such a great show.
Jumbo: Al is a fantastic promoter and guy. He works with the likes of Matchroom regularly and is always fair with the fighters. I called him up one day and said I have a fighter called Luke Pearson at my gym and I think he is definitely worth a look, so we talked, I sent him some footage and he was on-board straight away and here we are.