TV time as Portsmouth boxerÂ aims for breakthrough
Mikey McKinson has been handed a golden chance to make his big domestic breakthrough.
The Problem will defend his WBC international silver welterweight title against Sam McNess in London on October 26.
The showdown will be broadcastÂ on BoxNation, handing McKinson the first TV coverage of his career.
It's a stern test for the 14-0 man, however, as he puts his unbeaten record on the line against the highly-touted former GB man and stellar amateur.
McNess will be backed by a partisan east London crowd at the boxing Mecca of York Hall.
But McKinson's trainer and father, Michael Ballingall, believes the 24-year-old will relish the challenge of stepping into enemy territory.
He said: '˜Mikey loves it. He can go into the trenches.
'˜He loves fighting away and people booing him. It gives him more of a buzz.
'˜Every time he's been up against it and people have questioned him, he's done it.
'˜When people say you can't do it, it makes him more determined. He's been the same since he was a kid.
'˜Fighting away will make Mikey box out of his skin.
'˜He (McNess) is well schooled and he's not an idiot.
'˜But Mikey has a style which is very difficult to beat. He does things other people don't.
'˜There's no southpaw in this country like Mikey.'
After learning his pro trade, McKinson has picked up wins over Swindon's fancied Ryan Martin and Colin Lynes in his last four contests, but McNess looks set to be another step up.
The former Moneyfields amateur is now moving up the domestic rankings, but a win over the former Repton amateurÂ on TV would really catapult the stylist into the public consciousness.
And that is a chance McKinson knows he has to take.
Ballingall added: '˜It's on TV, so it's the first time Mikey is appearing in front of a wider audience.
'˜Some of the small-hall fights he's been in have been touted for fight of the year, so he will put up a good fight.
'˜We know McNess has a lot to prove and a lot of quality behind him. He's going to be giving it everything.
'˜We're taking this one very, very seriously and the preparation will be important.
'˜Mikey is number eight in the country. Domestically he's there, he just needs the platform to be seen by the public.
'˜There's been things promised in the past, but now it's starting to happen.
'˜I think people will be asking 'Where's this kid been?' when they see him.'