Pompey Problem challenged to make boxing dreams come true

Mikey McKinson, right, is ready for action. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171573-1)
Mikey McKinson, right, is ready for action. Picture Ian Hargreaves (171573-1)
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Mikey McKinson has been challenged to move another step closer to making his boxing dreams come true.

The Pompey Problem faces fearsome puncher Ryan Kelly on Saturday as he leads the way in arguably the biggest weekend of boxing the city has ever seen.

McKinson makes the third defence of his WBC international silver welterweight title in Essex against a rival who will be backed by significant support.

That represents no problem for the 24-year-old who has stepped into enemy territory throughout his 15-fight professional career.

With brother Lucas on the show and Dave Birmingham and Danny Couzens in title action on the same night, it’s a huge weekend for Portsmouth boxing.

McKinson’s father and trainer, Michael Ballingall, knows there are European and world opportunities which could present themselves on the horizon.

But first a man who has stopped his past three opponents and brings concussive power to the table has to be negotiated.

Ballingal snr said: ‘This is a another big opportunity for Michael.

‘He’s facing a dangerous lad and a puncher.

‘But Mikey’s prepared well for this with good sparring.

‘He’s fighting everyone who is put in front of him.

‘We are working up through the WBC rankings and he can fight for a European title.

‘These are the opportunities which could lie ahead for Mikey.

‘But he has to deal with a strong, strong competitor who will have a big support with him first.

‘He’s maybe five or six fights from breaking into the top 10 in the world.

‘Mikey is prepared to go anywhere and fight anyone.

‘So he has to keep beating these dangerous opponents who are being put in front of him to make his dreams come true.

‘He keeps proving how good he is and what he’s capable of - that’s what he has to do again.’

After the blow of his televised title clash with Archie Sharp being cancelled after his opponent pulled out, Ballingall will stay busy with a fight against tough Nicaraguan Jose Fernandes.

The English title at lightweight could now be the route the talented stylist takes with the 22-year-old mandatory challenger for Myron Mills’ title.

Ballingall snr added: ‘Lucas was disappointed by the news of the title fight going.

‘He’s got the English title route, though, so that is a path he can go down.

‘He’s looking at the bigger picture and needs to keep active for what is to come.’