McKinson out for six of the best

Michael McKinson. Picture: Mick Young
Michael McKinson. Picture: Mick Young

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MIKEY McKINSON has been warned he has to catch the eye as he takes his next step in the pro ranks.

McKinson steps up to six rounds for the first time as professional boxing returns to Portsmouth on Sunday.

The 21-year-old faces durable Bulgarian Stanislav Nenkov as he aims to make it eight fights unbeaten.

Nenkov brings a 13-14 record to the table and has campaigned across Europe in his four-year-career.

So it should present a decent test of his undoubted skills at Liquid and Envy nightclub.

His trainer and father, Michael Ballingall, knows the welterweight has to look good in his first outing of the year.

And the plan is to impress on home soil and stay busy in 2016.

Ballingall said: ‘Mikey’s determined.

‘He’s been waiting for his first six rounder.

‘It’s been called off a few times.

‘But it’s a chance for him to step up and make it 8-0.

‘It’ll be a step up from the lads he’s boxed.

‘He needs to get some fights under his belt now.

‘So this is more rounds round for him and he has to look good doing it.’

Dave Birmingham will be roared on by an army of fans as he makes his pro bow against Latvia’s Antons Zacests

The former Pompey defender is aiming to make his mark at lightweight and has impressed his trainer since linking up with him

Ballingall said: ‘Dave Birmingham is a pleasure to train.

‘He does what he’s told and is as fit as a fiddle.

‘It’s about him getting experience now.

‘Dave can hold his own with decent lads – so he’s having a crack at the pro game.

‘He’s 34 but new to the game and extremely fit.

‘Dave’s champing at the bit and can’t wait to get out and show what he can do in front of his fans.’

Southampton’s Chris Hobbs tops the card on Sunday as he meets Swindon’s Kelvin Young for the Challenge belt trinket.

Lightweight Billy Parker also takes on debut-making Indu Gill.