Bumper card to kicksart year

Floyd Moore. Picture: Mick Young (141547-26)
Floyd Moore. Picture: Mick Young (141547-26)
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THE BIGGEST night of professional boxing Portsmouth has ever seen is coming to the city.

And a mammoth card of around 18 contests could be the pre-cursor to an open-air show in 2016.

Promoter Steve Goodwin has vowed to lay on a host of events and offer local talent a platform to showcase their skills, in a link-up with local trainer Michael Ballingall.

Goodwin is planning to hold a succession of shows building towards a huge outdoor title fight.

That could give local favourites like Floyd Moore a massive base on which to show his popularity.

But first up is the opening professional bill of 2015 at the Mountbatten Centre on March 28.

Ballingall, believes the size of the event will be unprecedented in terms of the number of contests taking place.

And the hope is that will light the touchpaper for a frenetic period of action in the paid ranks in the city.

Ballingall said: ‘This will be the biggest show we’ve ever done in Portsmouth.

‘I think we’re going to have around 18 fights on the bill with a press conference to help promote the event.

‘I think I’d be right in saying there has never been a show like this here before.

‘We are looking at having three title fights, which is something in itself.

‘Floyd Moore is back in the gym and looking to show what he can do this year.

‘But there is going to be a lot of other local names boxing.

‘It’s a chance for these young lads to get themselves out there and seen by people. It’s a big opportunity for them.

‘Steve Goodwin and his team are concentrating their efforts on professional boxing.

‘There is a passion there and determination to push things through.

‘The result of that is there could be a very exciting time ahead for professional boxing in Portsmouth.’

Moore is set to make his ring return on the March show, after losing last time out to former British super featherweight champion Gary Buckland in December.

The 24-year-old went down to a brave points loss as part of the Sky Sports-televised Prizefighter event in London.

Moore will take on Bulgaria’s Kristian Dochev for the vacant International Masters lightweight title.

The usual army of fans will be behind the home favourite as he looks to get back to winning ways.

And the night will present Southampton’s Chris Hobbs with his first chance to collect a title.

Hobbs will put his six-fight unbeaten record on the line as he looks to win the International Masters Bronze light-heavyweight crown.

He is awaiting confirmation of who he will face, with an international opponent expected to be lined up as he steps up to eight rounds

Guildford’s Eli Green is pencilled in for a title fight against Devon’s Jamie Speight, in a clash which has the hallmarks of an entertaining match-up.

Leigh Park’s Garry Neale will look to extend his unbeaten record in a six rounder and Portsmouth’s Ben Kneller is back in action, after pushing unbeaten Londoner Ben Day close away from home in his last contest.

Biola Kudus, Sam Couzens, Danny Couzens and decorated amateur Jimmy Cooper are involved.

Hotly-tipped Londoner, Jose Lopes, will also be stepping into the ring after beating Portsmouth’s John Weeks last time out with a first-round stoppage.