David Birmingham is ready to return to his old stomping ground for his next professional outing.
And the lightweight prospect is hoping he doesn’t upset the people of Bournemouth – by entering the ring to the Pompey chimes!
Birmingham’s transition from former pro footballer to boxer continues as he looks to pick up his fourth win in the paid ranks.
He meets journeyman Harvey Hemsley as he steps up to six rounds for the first time.
Birmingham will be roared on by his usual army of fans at the Sir David English Sports Centre on September 16.
And that crowd is set to include a host of footballers associated with both Pompey and the Cherries – the two clubs Birmingham played for.
The 35-year-old is hopeful of a good reception when he steps into the ring but isn’t sure how his ringwalk music will go down.
Birmingham said: ‘There’s a link having played down there.
‘It’s a great footballing town and a great football club.
‘I’m hoping for a good reception but that might change when I come out to the chimes!
‘I hope that doesn’t upset too many – but I am a Pompey lad!
‘I’m looking forward to it, especially as I played down there as well and most of my family are from Poole and Bournemouth.
‘I’ve got quite a few footballing mates coming to the fight, too. Darren Anderton is coming, Stuart Doling, Linvoy (Primus), Brian Stock, James Hayter, Karl Broadhurst, so there’s a few of them.
‘I’m still in touch with them all but I think most of them are coming to see me get a good punch after all the late tackles I gave them in training!
‘The support is overwhelming but I try not to think about it too much.
‘I have people come up to me in the street I haven’t seen for years saying they are following me.
‘But I’m in there to box and follow instructions. Having all these people say they want to come and watch me is surreal, though.’
Birmingham has picked up a reputation for obsessive training since coming into boxing.
James Lee and Gavin Jones are playing a major role in helping him on that front and refining his skills at Bally’s Gym.
Birmingham said: ‘The preparations have been spot on.
‘James has been doing an awful lot of work to settle me down. He is there as my trainer, although Mikey (Ballingall) oversees everything.
‘He’s the one putting the hours in on the pads and is up at 5.30am for runs.
‘And Gav has known me since I was about nine! He knows me better than anyone, when I’m tired and when he can get a bit more out of me.
‘He makes sure I’m in top shape for the fights.’