LUCAS BALLINGALL is hungry to make up for lost time on his ring return.
The Portsmouth featherweight is aiming to accelerate towards titles in 2018 and show why he’s seen as one of the city’s brightest talents.
First, though, the 21-year-old has to overcome Michael Dehamnia tomorrow night as he looks to take his record to 8-0.
The Frenchman, who weighed in half a stone heavier, will be the first opponent with a positive record Ballingall has faced.
After injury curtailed a Southern Area clash with Jamie Speight, the classy operator is out to start fulfilling his potential with home support behind him.
Ballingall said: ‘I feel great and ready to do the business. I’m feeling really good and I’m in top shape.
‘The weight doesn’t bother me at all. I’m strong enough to fight someone half a stone heavier easily. I’m happy with it and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
‘I should’ve had more fights than I’ve had. I should’ve had a Southern Area title by now.
‘I want to get in the ring, get more titles and push on for a big 2018. That’s my ambition.
‘I’m boxing at home. It’s great to be back home.
‘I’m buzzing at being able to buzz back at the Mountbatten Centre. It’s a great place to box, but I need to look good to get opportunities.’
Meanwhile, Leigh Park’s Dave Birmingham is out to shine as he steps back into the ring for the first time since his Southern Area title defeat to Jumanne Camero in July.
The former Pompey pro footballer takes on Antonio Horvatic as he bids to regain some momentum in their lightweight meeting.
Birmingham said: ‘I’m hungry to get back in the ring.
‘It was disappointing to lose against Camero but it was a learning curve for me.
‘I’ve picked up some things from it because I showed some inexperience.
‘I’ve learnt from it and will prove that on the night.
‘The chimes will be ringing out in Pompey again and I’ll have a good crowd cheering me on.
‘It’s always great having my support. They are fantastic. When things get hard they are there and pull me through it.
‘But I’m moody, the knuckles are itchy and someone’s getting hurt!’
Elsewhere, Floyd Moore is back in action and will have his usual army of fans behind him as he takes on Slovakian Ivan Godor.
Portsmouth fighter Andy Ponsford clashes with Bournemouth’s Sam Jones at welterweight.