IT IS a long way from the London Olympics to the old Guyra Scout hall, but that’s where Cameron Hammond found himself last week as he prepares for his fourth professional bout.
The 23-year-old pride of Moree has had to start all over again after turning pro, but he’s only too happy to do so.
That includes sparring with some up and coming young amateur fighters, like Guyra’s James MacDonald and Dorrigo’s Joey Taylor.
That’s why Hammond was at the Scout hall turned boxing gym where long-serving Guyra trainer Cliff Rowe has set up camp.
MacDonald is one of Team Rowe’s brightest stars at the moment and he and Taylor are both keen to try their hand at the Commonwealth Games trials later in the year.
Hammond knows what that is all about.
He qualified for the 2010 Delhi Games and then went on to fight in London last year.
He turned pro not long after that and has won his first three bouts, but it hasn’t been easy.
“The hard thing for me was slowing the pace down,” Hammond said.
“I was used to three three-minute rounds and now I’m doing six three minutes.
“In amateur you’ve only got three rounds so you hook in and try to score as many points as you can.
“But in the pros you have to slow the pace down.
“That’s the hard thing.”
Although based in Brisbane now, his old Moree trainer Danny Cheetham is working with Hammond again.
He said there were technique changes that were also required in the professional realm.
“You want to do more body punching,” Cheetham said.
“You have to wear them down and beat them.”
Hammond has signed on with British former world champion Ricky Hatton’s promotional company after Hatton saw Hammond fight in London.
His Asia-Pacific base is in Brisbane and Hammond spends a lot of time there, but is also back in Moree as often as possible.
He is happy to fight locally as he builds his profile in the pro game.
“It won’t be long till you see him on the big stage,” Cheetham said.
Hammond’s next fight is against a New Zealand champion on September 27 and another win will be a step towards more international recognition.