Crucial few weeks for Portsmouth's Lucas Ballingall as he aims to propel himself into title picture at new super-lightweight
Lucas Ballingall heads for Rome this weekend looking to rejuvenate his professional career.
The Portsmouth fighter, 24, steps up to super-lightweight for the first time to take on Bosnian Nerman Pozderovic in the Italian capital on Saturday.
Ballingall, with a 13-2 career record, is on the back of his first two pro defeats, losing to Myron Mills for the English title May and Russian Arslan Magomedov in Belarus before that.
But Ballingall stressed no matter what the result in his title showdown with Mills he would have made the step up to super- lightweight.
And now he cannot wait to start climbing the domestic rankings in his new weight category, starting with a win over Pozderovic in Rome.
Ballingall said: ‘I’m happy I’ve stepped up in weight, that fight (English title fight) - a big part of that fight was to do with the weight cut - I was too big for the weight.
‘The plan was always to step up to super-lightweight even if I’d won that English title anyway.
‘I was just way too big for the weight and that cost me the fight, unfortunately.
‘Obviously, I want to be ranked at the weight above now so I’ll get this fight and hopefully I’ll be ranked at super lightweight afterwards.’
Ballingall is set for a gruelling schedule over the next few weeks as he also fights on the 'Pompey Assemble' show on South Parade Pier on October 23.
It's a move he has never made before but one he hopes can propel him into the super-lightweight title picture should he gain two eye-catching victories in Rome and his hometown in October.
He said: ‘I’m happy to be stepping up now and fighting at the new weight. I’m coming off two defeats now so it’ll be good to go out to Italy, get a win, then fight on a Pompey show a few weeks later so I get two fights within a month.
‘I’ve never fought so close together before. I normally train for a date, train hard, fight, then I like my food so I like to have at least a week out enjoying my food but I won’t be able to do it this time.
‘I’m buzzing. I get two fights within three weeks and then I’m back up there looking for the title fights.’