Oakey: Ballingall is going all the way to the top of boxing

Lucas Ballingall   Picture: Mick Young
Lucas Ballingall Picture: Mick Young
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett challenges Pompey young guns to meet rivals head on

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TONY OAKEY has tipped Lucas Ballingall to get into the title mix.

And the Leigh Park Warrior reckons the Portsmouth featherweight will soon be a well-known name in the boxing world.

Tony’s predicted he will win titles and he’s not the type of person to make outrageous comments.

Michael Ballingall

Ballingall aims to make it four fights unbeaten as a professional when he tackles journeyman Russ Midgley in London tomorrow.

The 19-year-old has made an impressive start to his time in the paid ranks, since turning over as a pro earlier this year.

His father, and trainer, Michael Ballingall will be in his corner at home of British boxing – Bethnal Green’s York Hall.

Ballingall is excited about his son’s potential, but is keen to keep a sense of perspective as a parent.

Neutral eyes are talking up what the former Moneyfields amateur is capable of achieving, however.

World champion Lee Selby has already sung his praises after sparring the talent.

Now Oakey has added his voice to those who believe he can go far.

Ballingall Snr said: ‘We’ve had a lot of people saying things about Lucas.

‘Tony Oakey is someone whose opinion is respected in boxing.

‘His word carries weight and he will not say things if he doesn’t mean them.

‘Tony has been singing Lucas’ praises and really backed him.

‘Tony’s predicted he will win titles and he’s not the type of person to make outrageous comments.

‘Lucas has to keep pushing to come through and make the grade.

‘I’m his father, so people expect me to say things about him. But when it comes from people like Tony, Lee Selby and some of the top trainers in London, people have to listen.’

Ballingall will be expected to shine against an opponent who has yet to pick up a win from six contests.

That will be ahead of stepping up the quality of his rivals in 2016, if all goes to plan.

Ballingall Snr said: ‘Lucas should win without a problem.

‘He will give a bit of weight away, but he’s used to that.

‘He’s got good strength and skills and has to go out there and show them.

‘Then we will look to push him on. Sooner or later he has to be tested.

‘This is a featherweight champion in the making and the people of Portsmouth need to get behind him.’

A coach is travelling up to York Hall tomorrow, leaving from Fratton bridge at 1.30pm. Tickets for entry to the boxing and coach travel cost £50.