AFTER his impressive effort at this year’s Olympic Games, New South Wales welterweight Cameron Hammond is set to embark on a career in the professional side of the sport.
The 23-year-old from Moree has signed pro forms with the Asia-Pacific arm of Ricky Hatton’s Hatton Promotions and will make his debut without the vest and head guard in Hong Kong on December 11.
Hammond narrowly lost to eventual bronze medallist Custio Clayton in London this year and was tempted to stay in the amateur set up so he could concentrate on the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
But when co-managers Matt Clark and Brendan Bourke offered him the opportunity to link up with Hatton, the young puncher had no hesitation in signing on the dotted line.
"It's an absolute honour to sign with such a fantastic promotional company,” Hammond said. “Ricky Hatton is a legend and I'm excited to be part of what Hatton Promotions are establishing in Hong Kong.
“I'm looking forward to establishing myself as a professional boxer and I hope I continue to get the amazing support from Australians that I enjoyed during the London Olympics.
“I'm really looking forward to taking the big step into the professional ranks. December 11th can't come soon enough.”
Manager Clark believes Hammond - who is a proud member of the Kamilaroi people - can follow in the footsteps of other Aboriginal boxers reaching the top, such as Dave Sands, Ron Richards, Hector Thompson, Lionel Rose and Robbie Peden.
"Cameron is an exceptional young talent and more importantly, he conducts himself in a professional manner,” Clark stated.
“He showed some great potential at the Olympics and I'm sure he's going to develop into a fantastic professional boxer.
“When Hatton Promotions expressed an interest in signing Cameron, I knew it was the best way forward for his career".
Ricky Hatton said he is excited about adding Hammond to his Hatton Promotions Asia Pacific stable, which already includes unbeaten Perth banger Lucas Browne.
“Cameron is another great talent from Australia,” The Hitman added. “His talent is impressive and he can be another fighter from that side of the world to do his people proud and someday become a champion.
“Cameron has a bright, bright future.”