Former Portsmouth defender vows to go out with bang as he heads for retirement

Former Pompey defender and pro boxer Dave Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall (1713340-316)
Former Pompey defender and pro boxer Dave Birmingham. Picture: Neil Marshall (1713340-316)
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Dave Birmingham promised a slugfest as he vowed to end his boxing career on a high.

But the former Pompey defender admitted he will have to keep his emotions in check as he tops the bill at South Parade Pier tomorrow night.

Birmingham ends his three-year professional career on home soil against former Southern Area champion Jamie Speight at lightweight.

The 38-year-old entered the sport as a veteran after making his mark as a pro footballer with the Blues, Bournemouth and on the non-league circuit.

That's taken the 8-4 man to two cracks at the Southern Area title, as well as a clash with former European champion and world-title challenger Paul Hyland Jr in Belfast.

Now Birmingham is promising fireworks on his boxing swansong.

He said: ‘I'm ready and I can't wait to get going now.

‘I expect Jamie to be cautious for the first round or two.

‘Hopefully that will then go out of the window and we can meet in the middle, have a Mexican-style showdown and just slug it out.

‘I'll work him at a pace. If he goes on the run I'll hunt him.

‘I've got a bit emotional and there's my family sending messages on my ringwalk.

‘It's a good job I know about it otherwise I'd be a blubbering mess when I come in!

‘I've got so much support for my last one and I'm thankful.

‘There's my sponsors, my family and my team and I wouldn't have been able to do it without their backing.

‘People want me to carry on, but my mind is made up.

‘I've given it a good crack and this will be a good way to bow out.’

Birmingham tops the bill on the Atlantic Promotions show with Waterlooville lightweight Jamie Chamberlain, Fareham light-middleweight George Lamport and the Isle of Wight's decorated amateur Chez Nihell all involved.

Fleet super-middleweight Derek Renfrew completes the line-up with promoter Chris Hitching promising entertainment for fight fans.

He said: ‘We're building a stable of talent. We've got a deal to do four shows a year at the pier and backing in place.

‘These boys train so hard and dedicate everything so we make things professional and special for them.’