Harvey Lambert aiming to emulate Luke Campbell in going from St Paul’s ABC in Hull to Olympic glory

The latest product of the St Paul’s Amateur Boxing Club in Hull that sent Luke Campbell to the very top of the amateur game and almost to the summit of the professional ranks, has been obsessed with the sport since the age of five.

Ready for action: Harvey Lambert works out at St Paul's Boxing Club, Hull. Picture: Simon Hulme

It was the Rocky films that got Harvey Lambert into boxing.

“I’d do one-handed press-ups with my top off in the lounge when I was five,” he recalls.

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Keen to give him an outlet to channel that enthusiasm, Lambert’s parents sent young Harvey to his first boxing club by the age of six.

“At first they wouldn’t let me in because I was too young,” he recalls. “But my enthusiasm must have won them over because they said we’ll give you a week, see if you can last.

“By the end of that week, I was bashing all the 10-year-olds.

“I took to it straight away, it quickly felt like second nature and that I was born to do it.”

Amateur Boxing rules meant Lambert had to wait another five years before his first bout on turning 11.

Aiming for the top: Hull boxer Harvey Lambert.

One hundred and six amateur fights later, this now 24-year-old from Hull will represent Great Britain next week at the AIBA World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, hoping to make his mark on the senior global fight game.

“It’s all new to me, it’s my first major tournament but I’m not going there to make up the numbers, I want to be winning a medal,” says Lambert, a welterweight, who is one of eight new seniors making their major international debut in Serbia.

Team GB’s boxers won six medals out in Tokyo, but most of those like Pat McCormack, who won silver at welterweight, have ambitions to succeed in the professional game, or are taking some well-earned downtime.

So the door has been opened to a new generation.

One to follow: Great Britain's Luke Campbell also boxed out of Hull.

“To be a part of this new wave coming through is very exciting,” says Lambert, who only earned a place on the podium squad earlier this year.

“It’s a pressure I take on and one I’m proud to be a part of.

“I like to think when my back is against the wall you do get the best out of me and when I’m in the ring I do feel like I bring my A-game. You can’t afford not to at this level.”

Lambert has reached this level because that enthusiasm he showed in his living room 18 years ago has never wavered.

He boxed in a number of gyms in Hull before finally arriving at St Paul’s at the age of 13.

Mike Bromby was the coach, and a young bantamweight at the club by the name of Campbell was on a trajectory that would take him to Olympic gold at London 2012.

The parallels a decade on are obvious, but Lambert is under no illusions as to the work that is required to even get close to the Olympic title and two world-title shots Campbell earned in a career that only ended earlier this summer. Having Bromby in his corner, a man who has been through it all, can only be a good thing for Lambert.

“I went to St Paul’s because of Mike Bromby, he’s coached Luke and produced quite a lot of talent in Hull,” says Lambert, 24.

“Even when I’m away in Sheffield training with the GB squad, I still come home and train at St Paul’s on a Sunday.

“I was at a show there on Saturday night. When I’m in Sheffield I talk regularly with Mike on the phone. He’s a massive factor for me. What he doesn’t know about boxing, is not worth knowing.

“If there were problems Luke was going through, Mike has been there and done that, so when we speak he refers back to his experiences with Luke.

“That knowledge and experience he has is massive for me.”

Lambert will continue his education in Serbia this week. He has tournament experience before, winning the national ABA’s in 2019 and a Three Nations event which got him onto the GB squad in Sheffield.

He also won a tournament in Hungary earlier this year.

All were stepping stones on the road to Paris 2024.

“Usually you get out of the ring and you’ve got four weeks to wait for your next fight, but in these tournaments you’re buzzing for 40 minutes, then you grab your skipping rope and start preparing for the next bout the next day,” he says.

“It’s all great experience. For me, I want to test myself against the top 10 in the world, see where I am against the Uzbeks, the Kazhaks, the Cubans.

“At the end of the day, I’m proud to be from Hull, proud to represent St Paul’s and to represent Yorkshire.

“I believe sport-wise we’re one of the best regions. To be part of that wave of boxing and sporting talent coming through is a source of pride for me and my family. We’re just really excited.

“Honestly, just to say I’ve boxed for Great Britain is the proudest thing I’ve ever achieved. But I’ve got to work hard and I’ve got to keep pushing.

“Everything is geared around Paris 2024, that’s where I want to be and I want to make sure I’m going there as one of the favourites.

“I need to do as well as I can at these tournaments.”

Well enough to make that five-year-old doing one-handed press-ups proud.