MIKEY McKINSON has promised to shine under the spotlight and make his boxing breakthrough.
And the Pompey Problem has vowed to derail the Ryan Martin bandwagon as he takes on Swindon’s hyped talent.
McKinson will travel into enemy territory when he meets Martin for the WBC Youth International title on April 8.
But the 22-year-old is confident he’ll be roared on by a travelling army of fans making the trip to Wiltshire.
McKinson is looking to accelerate his career in 2017, and the 7-0 man knows that means taking a step up in class.
The welterweight contest provides the perfect opportunity for him to do that against a decorated amateur he knows all about.
‘I remember this guy from the amateursm,’ said McKinson.
‘He was a top, top junior and he was knocking people out for fun.
‘So we didn’t have to do any digging – but I know we can beat this lad.
‘I’m finally going to be in the spotlight and I will take that chance.
‘I know I’m good enough, but maybe I’ve been under the radar a little bit and boxing in the shadows of others.
‘I’ve had to fight at short notice on shows and not been a massive ticket seller. But I’m being flooded with interest for this one and we’ll be taking an army to Swindon.
‘This is the one which will open doors for me. He’s got the advantage and was a superstar amateur, so I think people have me as the underdog. That’s how I like it.
‘It’s the Ryan Martin show and he’s getting plenty of attention in his home town.
‘But we’re going there and will take everything from him. We’re ruining the Ryan Martin show. We’re going to make a massive statement.’
Fratton Park will hold a press conference to promote the contest today after it was officially announced in Swindon last week.
McKinson’s training camp is already in full motion, though, with backing from businessmen Jason Helas and Paul Townley allowing him to work part-time ahead of the fight.
North End Motors, Fitness First Portsmouth, Greg Allison Fitness and Michael Pack painting and decorating are also bankrolling his preparations.
McKinson said: ‘I’ve picked up sponsorship to allow me to be able to prepare and get good sparring.
‘I’ve already sparred Josh Kelly, who was in the Olympics, and has turned pro. Then there was Lenny Daw, who wanted me before his European title fight, and Gary Corcoran this week.
‘I’ve got the time now to be able to go and spar these people. That will bring me on.
‘This is the hardest I’ve ever trained and I feel ready now.
‘The professionalism has gone through the roof. It’s exciting and, with the preparation I’ve had there will be no excuses.’