London 2012 Team GB captain Thomas Stalker has played down his remarkable reputation as a box office sensation despite selling over 1,000 tickets for just his second professional fight.
Although he is buried on the undercard of fellow Scouser Tony Bellew’s big fight in Liverpool tomorrow, a huge portion of the 12,000 crowd will be there to watch Stalker compete in a low-key four-round fight against a journeyman.
Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn, who promotes the show, spoke this week of his astonishment at Stalker’s popularity as he starts off on the road to professional glory.
The 28-year-old light-welterweight insists the credit should not go solely to him.
“I’ve done a lot of tickets but it’s not just for me, it’s people buying tickets from me to watch all the Liverpool lads who are fighting,” he told Press Association Sport.
“I’m obviously made up that they got them off me but the Liverpool boxing scene is the place to be at the moment.
“Tony Bellew’s going to come through this weekend and hopefully it’s the start of a massive new era for Liverpool boxing.”
Stalker is enjoying a new lease of life as a professional after being left devastated by a controversial defeat in the Olympic quarter-finals last summer.
“Turning professional has brought some closure to what happened in London,” he said.
“Being captain of the British Olympic team will stay with me until the day I die but to not get a medal was heartbreaking. “Now I’m a professional it is a new chapter in my life and I can see a bigger picture. It’s not just about the Olympics now, it’s about becoming a champion as a professional.”
Stalker appears on the undercard of Bellew’s WBC light-heavyweight title eliminator against Isaac Chilemba tomorrow.