MICHAEL McKINSON has taken a big step towards his dream of a first professional title.
That’s after the Portsmouth boxer recorded an emphatic third-round retirement win over experienced Jerome Samuels in Bournemouth on Saturday night.
Taking his record to six wins from six fights, the 21 year old light-middleweight southpaw gave away height, reach and weight to former Welsh area champion Samuels, who struggled to cope with his opponent’s tricky style.
Switching stances and countering effectively as Samuels targeted the body, McKinson lived up to his nickname ‘The Problem’, proving quick on his feet and landing shots around the guard of his increasingly-disheartened opponent, who failed to win a round.
Rescued by his corner before the start of the fourth and final stanza, the brave Welshman had little chance of turning the fight around.
And it is to McKinson’s credit that he was able to take apart a 10-round fighter in such a fashion.
Samuels dropped to five wins and seven losses.
McKinson’s father and manager, Michael Ballingall, said of his son’s win: ‘We were a bit nervous of this one but Mikey had trained so hard for the show on March 26 that got cancelled that we decided to take the chance.
‘We’re looking to go to a higher level and need to beat this type of opponent to get there.
‘Mikey showed good footwork and took advantage of the angles to get his shots in.
‘And by the third (round) Samuels looked like he’d ran out of ideas and had had enough.
‘It was obvious he was going to get stopped and I wasn’t surprised his corner pulled him out.’
Ballingall also paid tribute to the work carried out by McKinson and his camp pre-bout to get the exciting talent fighting fit at short notice.
He said: ‘Trainer James Lee did a great job getting him ready for this fight and deserves a lot of credit.
‘Mikey lives in the gym and he is still learning but that was a great win – a lot of people would have avoided that fight.
‘We’ve some way to go but we hope to be looking at a couple of six and eight-rounders before we go for a title.’
Trainer and former professional fighter Lee was also delighted with the success of the young boxer:
He added: ‘I’ve worked with him (McKinson) a lot for this fight and I’m really pleased for him.
‘On the pads I’ve been teaching him to plant his feet and use leverage on his punches when he lets them go.
‘And to win inside the distance against a dangerous opponent like Samuels shows that paid off.
‘He can go a long way.’