Portsmouth pros feeling Welsh heat

Floyd Moore will top the bill at next month's show in Fareham          Picture: Mick Young
Floyd Moore will top the bill at next month's show in Fareham Picture: Mick Young
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Portsmouth’s emerging boxers are feeling the heat of Wales’ top talent as they gear up for their next fight night.

Michael Ballingall’s team are travelling to Newport for sparring ahead of their next show in Fareham on Saturday, February 23.

Top-of-the-bill Floyd Moore, Mark Coombs and Garry Neale are all sharpening their skills at the highly-regarded St Josephs ABC ahead of battle.

That is the home of an outstanding pool of boxers, including British champions Lee Selby and Gary Buckland.

Olympic silver medallist Fred Evans and his fellow Team GB club-mate, Andrew Selby, are also based out of the pro-am outfit.

It promises to be an exciting experience for Moore, Coombs and Neale, who are looking to kick-start a busy 2013 in style at Fareham Leisure Centre next month.

Ballingall believes sparring opponents of the quality his men are facing is crucial to their boxing education.

He said: ‘You can’t put a price on sparring like this for the boys.

‘You can’t help but be impressed with the way they go about their work. There are some brilliant boxers in the gym and they are at the top of their game because of their work rate.

‘The boys are holding their own with boxers of that quality, though. So it’s good for their confidence as well and shows them what they are capable of achieving.’

Moore headlines next month as he steps up to 10 rounds for the first time in an International Masters title shot at lightweight.

He is joined by Coombs and Neale, who gets to make his long-awaited lightweight debut against Marc Callaghan.

Middleweight Ryan Moore meets Didier Blanch as he looks to continue his winning run.

Emsworth’s Ashley Whiting will be one to look out for as the former Junior ABA finallist turns over in the pro ranks at light-middleweight.

Danny Couzens is bidding to stay sharp ahead of a possible Southern Area title shot at light-heavyweight.

Andy Gatenby, under the guidance of TKO trainer Johnny Eames, will also be in action.

Guernsey’s former ABA champ, Brad Watson, will be expected to shine, while Andy Tew – brother of Southern Area champ Matty Tew – also debuts.

Ballingall is looking forward to another stacked card full of local talent.

He said: ‘It will be good to see Floyd in a 10-round contest.

‘Anyone who can go 10 rounds is going to be dangerous.

‘All the boys are hungry. There are some talented boxers here.

‘I’m really looking forward to seeing the likes of Ashley Whiting and Garry Neale make their debuts.

‘They are putting in the work in at the gym.

‘They can get their rewards for that on fight night.’

Tickets for the show at Fareham Leisure Centre on February 23 are selling well. Tickets cost £30 and £60 (ringside). For more details contact 07939 332010.