DAVE BIRMINGHAM has targeted an eye-catching performance as his boxing dream continues.
The former Pompey defender meets Qasim Hussain today as he continues his journey in the professional boxing ranks.
Birmingham made his debut in March after moving into white-collar boxing a little over a year ago.
Now the 35-year-old will be roared by a wave of support on home soil in his lightweight contest.
Birmingham knows he is going to have to resist the temptation to get into a war to please his following.
He’s looking to showcase the progress he’s made under trainers Michael Ballingall and James Lee.
‘I’ve got a lot of people supporting me and it’ll be a great atmosphere,’ said Birmingham.
‘I want to get in there, get the job done and make sure I perform and don’t get overwhelmed by the occasion.
‘He’s a tough lad and I have to make sure I don’t have a war with him.
‘He’s very experienced so I need to do what I’m trained to do, box clever and then I’ll have no problems.
‘I’d love to go all out, but if I do that he’ll try to wear me down and get me in the third or fourth.
‘It’d be stupid of me to do that, so I’ll do what Mike and James have shown me.
‘I want the performance to be eye-catching from a boxing perspective.’
Birmingham has gone on the road to prepare for his meeting with Hussain.
That’s seen him undertake sparring at the Limehouse Gym in London with highly-touted former English light-welterweight Tommy Martin.
Birmingham said: ‘The last spar against Tommy Martin was an experience.
‘It was good going into someone’s gym with a lad who’s way better than I am.
‘I thought I was fit but he was very, very fit and accurate with his punches.
‘It was something I’d like to do again, but now I’m so excited and can’t wait to get into the ring.’
Birmingham’s promoter, Steve Goodwin, has already aired the prospect of title fights down the line for the 2-0 man.
That’s music to his ears – but Birmingham knows he can’t look beyond the durable test Hussain brings.
He added: ‘I would love to get a six-rounder under my belt. Then I want to work towards a Southern Area title. That’s medium to long-term.
‘I don’t struggle for drive but to hear Steve Goodwin say that has given me even more determination. But first I have to concentrate on doing my job here.’