Devastating injury blow for Portsmouth's Lucas Ballingall wrecks title dream

Injury has dealt Lucas Ballingall a title blow. Picture: Mick YoungInjury has dealt Lucas Ballingall a title blow. Picture: Mick Young
Injury has dealt Lucas Ballingall a title blow. Picture: Mick Young
Lucas Ballingall has been left distraught after injury wrecked his title showdown with Jeff Ofori.

Portsmouth emerging lightweight hope saw the Southern Area clash due to take place on Saturday dashed by a hand injury.

The 22-year-old damaged his thumb metacarpal bone in sparring and it will need six to eight weeks to heal.

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That left Ballingall with no choice but to pull out and has led to the show at Havant Leisure Centre being cancelled.

It’s the latest in a long line of blows for the unbeaten talent, with injury to his opponent Archie Sharp leading to a crack at the WBO European title in February biting the dust.

His father, Michael Ballingall, admitted it’s a devastating blow which has hit the boxer hard.

He said: ‘It could be a career-threatening injury if it doesn’t heal, so Lucas has been advised to pull out of the fight.

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‘The specialist has said it will take up to two months to heal, so we can’t think about making any plans or training in that time until the hand is better.

‘Lucas is absolutely devastated and apologetic to Jeff Ofori, who has taken the news with good grace.

‘He’s a gentleman. We’re thankful he gave us the opportunity and we’re sorry we couldn’t fulfil it.

‘But Lucas is still the mandatory challenger for the English title or we could get the Ofori fight on again, although he could go on to something else because he’s been waiting for quite a while.

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‘Lucas keeps having bad luck but there’s still options there for him. It was the right thing to do.’

Former Pompey defender Dave Birmingham was also due to be on Saturday’s show but will now finish his pro career next weekend on the Atlantic Promotions event at South Parade Pier.

He has a showdown with Jamie Speight which has the hallmarks of a crowd-pleasing clash.

Waterlooville’s Jamie Chamberlain and Wickham’s George Lamport, who is unbeaten after seven contests, are also in action.

Ballingall snr added: ‘Dave is still fighting on the South Parade Pier show.

‘It’s down to him now to fly the flag in his last fight and I’m sure he will.’

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