DAVID BIRMINGHAM is out to complete a meteoric boxing rise after being handed a dream title shot.
The former Pompey man will face Londoner Jumanne Camero for the Southern Area title in London on July 9.
Birmingham’s opportunity comes in just his sixth pro fight and only 16 months after moving into the professional game.
The chance is made all the more remarkable with Birmingham having no boxing experience before taking part in a white-collar event two-and-a-half years ago.
Yet, with his move into the paid ranks coming late in the day, the 36-year-old is in a hurry to make his mark.
Birmingham acknowledges he goes into his outing with Camero as the underdog at the home of British boxing - Bethnal Green’s York Hall.
But he is out to prove the doubters wrong, who give him no chance after turning over as a pro at an advanced age and with little background in the noble art.
Birmingham said: ‘I think I’m going in as the underdog. To be honest, though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love a challenge and this definitely one of those.
‘I’ve been told since I turned over as pro that it’s a bad idea. I’ve been told I haven’t got the background in boxing and it’s a young man’s sport.
‘But in the gym I outrun and outwork a lot more experienced boxers than me.
‘Yes, I’m behind in terms of boxing skill but I’ve been picking it up quickly.
‘My trainer believes I’m ready to go - so I’m ready to go.
‘If someone had told me before I’d started I would get this title shot this soon, I’d have laughed at them.
‘It’s mad I was boxing on a white-collar show not too long ago.
‘But I’ve got to take these chances when they come along.
I’ve always had the desire. I know what I have to do - and I believe I can do it.’
It’s been an intense period of training for Birmingham with his title shot coming at fairly short notice.
He said: ‘I’ve been beasted! It’s been training, training, training.
‘There’s been a lot of tough running and sparring in this heat.
‘I’ve sparred 10 rounds with Floyd (Moore) and Lucas (Ballingall) and finished off with two rounds on the pads. So it’s all taking shape and the weight is coming down nicely.
‘I stay close to the fight weight and tick over in the gym, because you don’t know when the opportunity will come up.
‘We knew we could be ready for the chance that way. That’s how it’s panned out. There’s no problem with my conditioning and I can go the distance.
‘It may be a fight which goes into the trenches. If that’s the case, I’ll be ready.’