Former Portsmouth defender announces retirement - after one final hurrah

Dave Birmingham is set to retire from boxing. Picture: Neil Marshall
Dave Birmingham is set to retire from boxing. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Dave Birmingham has announced his next fight will be his last.

The former Pompey defender will end his boxing journey on home soil at the Havant Leisure Centre on June 29.

Birmingham will meet Jamie Speight in the 13th and final contest of his three-year professional career.

It’s been a journey of adventure for the 38-year-old, which has taken him to two title shots and a clash with world-level Irishman Paul Hyland Jr in Ireland.

Birmingham feels he can be proud of his achievements.

He said: ‘June 29 will be my last one.

‘As much as I like to pride myself on my fitness I am 38 now.

‘It’s a young person’s sport. That showed in my last fight.

‘For six rounds I matched Liam Dillon and we thought he’d blown a gasket in the sixth round when he backed off.

‘But he came out in the seventh as fresh as a daisy, and it was then I realised I was in trouble.

‘Boxing has definitely opened doors for me and I’m going to do my seconds licence now and coach.

‘If someone had said when I turned over I was going to have two cracks at the Southern Area title and go to Ireland and fight Paul Hyland Jr, I would’ve laughed at them.

‘The people I’ve lost to are good prospects, who I gave a good run for their morning. There’s been no shame in that.

‘I’m proud of the journey I’ve been on.’

Former Southern Area champ Speight will provide the opposition on what is certain to be an entertaining final chapter for Birmingham.

He added: ‘I will be having a good tear-up with Jamie Speight.

‘He’s a friend of mine actually, and someone I know from the circuit.

‘We’re mates before and after the fight, but we’re going in to do the business.

‘He’s said he’s coming down to give it everything - and I’ve said I’m going to give him what I’ve got.

‘We’ve promised each other that in the last round we’re going to stand in the centre of the ring and go for it.

‘One of us is going out on our shield!’