Portsmouth's Lucas Ballingall ready to do city - and England - proud in Russian battle

Lucas Ballingall is flying the flag for Pompey - and England - in BelarusLucas Ballingall is flying the flag for Pompey - and England - in Belarus
Lucas Ballingall is flying the flag for Pompey - and England - in Belarus

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Lucas Ballingall believes English pride is at stake as the Cold War recommences with Russia in unknown territory.

Portsmouth’s exciting lightweight prospect has taken on a left-field assignment in Belarus as he bids to kickstart his promising professional career.

The unbeaten 23-year-old will put his perfect 13-fight record on the line as he takes on Russian powerhouse Arslan Magomedov tomorrow night.

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Ballingall has seen a succession of big fights lined up and fall through thanks to injuries to him and his opponents, before Covid-19 struck to limit his opportunities further.

Lucas Ballingall and his team in 2017. Picture: Neil Marshall (1713340-750)Lucas Ballingall and his team in 2017. Picture: Neil Marshall (1713340-750)
Lucas Ballingall and his team in 2017. Picture: Neil Marshall (1713340-750)

But the stylist is now looking to make up for lost time as he accepts the opportunity of getting back into the ring on promoter Al Siesta's far-flung show named Kold Wars.

And Ballingall is making no bones about the size of task ahead of him as he flies the flag for his country.

He said: 'This on paper is my toughest fight - and I'm buzzing about that.

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'All the British lads fighting on these shows have got bottle. They are real fighting men.

'And we all know the Russians are hungry and coming to fight for their country on the international stage.

'I can wait to go out there and show what I can do for Portsmouth and my country.

'Of course, I'd like to be on TV in Britain but because of Covid you need to take what comes.

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'But Al Siesta is a Russian promoter who we've had good bonds with over the years and I've boxed on a couple of his shows.

'He contacted us and said he's hosting showing shows in eastern Europe.

'Without this fight I would probably not be fighting again this year.

'We didn't know the exact location until a few weeks ago, but we said we'd fight anyone.

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'I realised it would be near Russia and then he said it would be a Britain v Russia event called Kold Wars.

'I've been unlucky in my career, I've had decent fights scheduled and they've not happened.

'So this was an opportunity I wasn't going to pass up.'

Ballingall knows he faces a dangerous puncher in Russian Magomedov with all of his professional wins coming by KO.

But as the former Moneyfields amateur operates outside of the backing of the sport's big promoters, he feels he now has to take risks other protected prospects don't.

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He added: 'I've done no homework on the opponent at all except look at his record - and by his record he can punch!

'His wins are all by KO and his only loss is on points so I know what to expect: a tough Russian.

'But I believe I have the boxing ability to outbox anyone so I'm not bothered at all. These are the kind of fights you want.

'I'm not expecting a phone call from Frank Warren or Eddie Hearn, so I need to force myself up the rankings - and that's what I plan to do.

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'I want the big fights. I'm ready for the big fights - bring them all on.'

Ballingall's fight will be streamed live on Fite.tv for £6 with the card beginning at 8.20pm.

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