Do or die for former Portsmouth defender as career hangs by aÂ thread
Dave Birmingham knows he's in boxing's last-chance saloon after being handed aÂ crack at the Southern Area title.
The former Pompey man has promised to treat his showdown with Liam Dillion for the super-featherweight on March 9 in London as his world title shot.
Birmingham is fully aware it's do or die for him as he returns to the ring after being stopped by Youssef Khoumari last time out.
At 37, time is running out for the 8-3 man to make his mark in the professional game, despite only entering the paid ranks in 2016.
Birmingham knows what an opportunity it is for him as he steps down from the lightweight division to take on the unbeaten Londoner.
And it's one he determined to seize with both hands.
Birmingham said: '˜I have to do everything possible to win this fight. I'm not stupid.
'˜It's a super-featherweight. I've spoke to my nutritionist and he says I can do the weight comfortably, so we said let's do it.
'˜It's taken me surprise really.
'˜I didn't think my last fight should've been stopped but we've put that to bed and nowÂ there's this great opportunity.
'˜I think I've progressed as a fighter, so I thought why not take it.
'˜If I go there and win it opens up doors for some more big fights. If I lose, it's over.
'˜There will be nowhere for me to go if I lose.
'˜So this is my world title fight really. It's do or die.
'˜This sort of opportunity will not be coming up for me again.
'˜So has to be now. This is the time for me.'
Birmingham has changed his coaching team going into the Dillon contest, with a number of people contributing to preparations.
Miles Harding will oversee his schedule as lead trainer with Heart of Portsmouth's Martin Robinson on board as he moves into the pro arena.
Birmingham can also call on the huge experience of Tony Oakey along with Gary Burch, Paul Miles and brother Michael Birmingham to ensure he's ready for the challenge of taking on an opponent 15 years his junior.
Birmingham added: '˜He's 8-0 at the moment and is a game, come-forward fighter.
'˜People have underestimated me and come unstuck before, though.
'˜There's the team around me to put me in the best possible condition to win.
'˜There's a lot of experience and support there and we'll all be pulling in the same direction to get the win.'