Tom Stalker Expects To Produce Excitement in The Ring
Thomas Stalker has become the second Team GB 2012 Olympian to turn professional after signing with Matchroom.
The Liverpudlian captained Robert McCracken's hugely successful squad in London last summer but was unable to earn a medal himself.
At 28 years old Stalker agonised over his future for months before finally deciding to join the paid ranks, joining Anthony Ogogo after the bronze medalist signed with Golden Boy.
The light-welterweight world number one was tipped for big things in London but could not join the likes of Ogogo, gold medalists Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell and Nicola Adams and silver winner Fred Evans in securing personal glory.
He lost out in controversial circumstances via a hotly disputed quarter-final defeat to Mongolian Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg, admitting he was "heartbroken" and claiming "those judges wrecked my life".
Now, however, he can look forward to a new lease of life in the paid ranks under burgeoning promoter Eddie Hearn.
Rob McCracken, Performance Director at GB Boxing said: "It has been very good working with Tom over the last three years, when he has shown himself to be a fine boxer with the ability to win medals at major tournaments.
"It is disappointing for us that Tom has decided his future lies away from the GB Boxing squad but he departs with our best regards, and we wish him every success in his future career."
Campbell and Joshua have so far resisted the lure of the more glamorous professional game - with super-heavyweight Joshua promising to defend his crown at Rio 2016.
But accomplished amateur Stalker has cut his losses and is set to appear on the undercard of fellow Liverpudlian Tony Bellew's March 30 bout at the city's Echo Arena.
"I feel I am going to be exciting to watch as a professional boxer," said Stalker.
"I felt it was time for me to turn professional now and see how far I can go. I have done everything I could possibly do as an amateur, bar winning an Olympic medal.
"Even though I didn't medal myself, as a team I have captained the most successful amateur boxing team we have ever had and that was a big thing for me. It wasn't just a three-week tournament it had been four years of trying to qualify to win those medals so to see all the lads and women do so well and win medals was amazing and I am very honoured to have captained that team."
He added: "Winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal was obviously a highlight for me in the amateurs but I would say qualifying for the Olympics was a big moment after all the hard work it took to qualify.
"Since the Olympics I haven't had a goal and I have been a bit depressed, especially seeing the other lads doing all sorts of stuff but now I have that hunger back and to get in that ring and fight is going to be amazing.
"The one for me is going to be March, boxing a homecoming in Liverpool. It is going to be amazing for me to be boxing in front of all my friends and family in Liverpool and that is when I will really feel like a professional."