LUCAS BALLINGALL has been handed the chance to catapult himself into the boxing mainstream in 2017.
The Portsmouth featherweight prospect has been handed a place on the undercard of Chris Eubank’s title fight with Renold Quinlan in London on February 4.
The bill will be ITV’s first venture into pay-per-view territory and will be televised on its new ITV Box Office platform.
It will be a chance for the 20-year-old to make a mark to a wider audience after a frustrating period.
Injury ruled out the opportunity for Ballingall to become one of the youngest area champions in history against Jamie Speight last October.
But now there’s the prospect of him making an impact against an as yet unnamed opponent.
And that could pave the way to a place on terrestrial shows later this year – bringing the talent to a much wider audience.
Father and trainer, Michael Ballingall, believes this is the chance the 5-0 man needs to shine.
He said: ‘Lucas is looking forward to the chance of fighting on the undercard of a big title fight on TV.
‘It’s the first show ITV are doing like this, but there are going to be a lot more in 2017.
‘As long as Lucas shows what he can do there is every chance he is going to be able to box on those shows.
‘We’ve had to sign Lucas’ management over to (promoter) Steve Goodwin to make it happen.
‘He’s a star in the making. Respected figures in boxing recognise his potential.
‘It’s not going to be an easy fight for him. It’s going to be against someone with a positive record.
‘But it’s an opportunity which is definitely worth grabbing.
‘Everyone remembers the old days on ITV with Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn and all the super-middleweights.
‘They want to bring those times back, but to do that you need exciting young talent.
‘Lucas is a rookie at the moment but is capable of achieving something big.’
Joel McIntyre has set the ball rolling again for Portsmouth boxing with his English title win over Miles Shinkwin last month.
Ballingall snr is hoping the city now continue to get behind the young talent emerging in boxing.
He added: ‘Joel McIntyre has raised the bar and is doing very well after joining up with Steve Goodwin.
‘Lucas is capable of making his mark, but has to sell tickets to make that happen.
‘We need Portsmouth to come out and get behind him.’
Tickets for Ballingall’s fight on the Chris Eubank Jr undercard are price £50 (balcony), £80 lower tier and £250 (VIP ringside with free bar). Coach seats are also available for £15. For details ring (07939) 332010.