Boxing can be a magnetic force. The sport pulls you back, often when you need it the most. Luke Noel (1-5-0) of Campbellton, New Brunswick, knows this feeling well. After losing his brother to suicide three years ago, Noel fell into a depression.
“All I could think about was him. I was consumed by the loss. I stopped competing, which made things worse,” Noel said on Monday. “Now it’s time to move on. It’ time to box and really begin my healing.”
Noel returns to the ring against his old foe Marcel Maillet Jr. (5-9-1) of Shediac on Saturday, May 4, at the Civic Centre in Miramichi. Six years ago this June, Noel battled Maillet for four rounds at the Moncton Lions Club, losing via unanimous decision. Noel feels he deserved a better fate.
“I went four rounds with Maillet before. I lost a judges’ decision, but I still believe I won that fight. Even with all his amateur experience, Maillet couldn’t hurt me. He couldn’t drop me, couldn’t even faze me. He was a pro champion at the time, but couldn’t do anything against me, a guy with no amateur experience and two pro bouts to his name. This time I won’t leave it to the judges. I won’t just stop Maillet, I’ll send into retirement,” said Noel.
Noel was originally competed in MMA, but transitioned to pro boxing in 2012. “I only really started to consider boxing after my first MMA bout. I won that night and a promoter named Dwayne Storey chatted with me afterwards. I was still in high school at the time. He called my mom and said we want to pay Luke $400 for a fight. At the time, that was a lot of money for me. I turned it down cause it was Ron Savoie, but boxing was firmly on my radar.”
On June 2, 2012, Noel made his professional boxing debut, defeating Chance Whalen in Shediac. “When I was offered a fight with Chance Whalen, I knew they thought I would lose, but I was familiar with Chance. We had already fought a three round Muay Thai match. I took the fight and won. Now I’m hooked on boxing. I have no boxing coach. I learn on the job.”
Noel is determined to improve the training available to boxers in Campbellton. “Boxing is going pretty strong elsewhere in the province. I recently pitched a Campbellton boxing gym to the television program Dragon’s Den. We’re really the only city in New Brunswick without access to a boxing club. I have a good feeling about it!”
Noel-Maillet is part of a seven fight card presented by MacKillop Promotions. Tickets are on sale now.