Pompey are fighting fit

Pompey kitman and former Commonwealth Games boxer Kev McCormack helped organise today's session at Ballys Gym

Pompey kitman and former Commonwealth Games boxer Kev McCormack helped organise today's session at Ballys Gym

Pompey boss Paul Cook

Pompey: No approach for Cook

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POMPEY have failed to punch their weight in League Two in the past two seasons.

But they will today get their chance to put that right as they swap the football pitch for the boxing ring.

Paul Cook has instigated an unusual shift in direction in the club’s pre-season preparations.

That will see them go from the Algarve, where they have been doing their work this week at the Vale do Lobbo resort, to Ballys Boxing Gym in Fratton.

Cook has been handing his players some leftfield exercises, as well as the sessions on the pitch.

That has included early-morning dips into the Atlantic Ocean, before the switch to the noble art.

Ballys owner, professional trainer Michael Ballingall, has promised a tough session lies in wait for the first-team squad.

That will include body sparring, bag work and circuits designed to push the Blues to the limit.

Ballingall is looking forward to the link-up ahead of his son, Michael McKinson, boxing tonight in his sixth professional contest.

He warned the session is no gimmick, however, and Cook’s men are in for a tough time.

Ballingall said: ‘We’re intending to put them through their paces.

‘We’re really looking forward to it.

‘It’s a great thing to have the two sports coming together.

‘Hopefully, we can learn a bit about professionals from another field.

‘But we’ll make sure that they test themselves.’

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