Huge Fratton Park fight night with McKinson, Ballingall and Chamberlain ‘would be lovely’ – city boxing legend Tony Oakey

Portsmouth's favourite boxing son Tony Oakey reckons a Fratton Park fight night could become a reality should the current crop of local prospects continue their upward trajectories.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 12:58 pm
Fratton Park could hold a big fight night involving Mikey McKinson, Lucas Ballingall and Mark Chamberlain, according to city boxing legend Tony Oakey. Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images.

And the Leigh Park Warrior believes a potential future PO4 card could even include city lightweight rivals Lucas Ballingall and Mark Chamberlain facing off against each other for a title.

Retired former WBU world light heavyweight champion Oakey is excited by the pool of professional boxers from the Portsmouth area at present.

Mikey McKinson added the WBO Global welterweight belt to his WBC world youth, WBC international silver and WBO European titles by beating Chris Kongo live on Sky Sports Box Office last weekend.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Tony Oakey

Not long after the Pompey Problem's huge win on Saturday, ferocious Waterlooville lightweight Mark Chamberlain took his pro record to 8-0 with a crushing first-round knockout of the notoriously durable Jordan Ellison.

What's more, Lucas Ballingall - brother of McKinson - has the chance to add another belt to the family collection when he fights Myron Mills for the English lightweight strap in Sheffield on May 21.

Former world, Commonwealth, British light heavyweight title holder and Prizefighter winner Oakey is the standout fighter the city has produced down the years.

But the man himself now believes there could be a group of Pompey boxers pushing to emulate his achievements.

Mikey McKinson. Picture By Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)

McKinson, 26, with four career welterweight belts in the cabinet already, has previously spoken of his dream to fight in front of his home support at PO4.

And Oakey reckons a monumental Fratton Park occasion with a card including The Problem, Ballingall and Chamberlain would be massive for the whole city.

Oakey said: 'It would be lovely (a Fratton Park fight night).

‘It’s a possibility, anything is possible, all you’ve got to do is keep winning.

Lucas Ballingall. Photo by Leigh Dawney/Getty Images.

‘I do believe if they carry on the way they do, where you’ve got the three of them - forget this year, it’s not happening, this year is dead with the coronavirus and all the rest of it.

‘Let’s just say next year or maybe the year after, little Mikey gets hold of a major title, them two (Lucas and Mark) fight for what could even be the British by then, who’s to say that it can’t happen at Fratton Park?

‘How good would that be for the area and Portsmouth?'

Oakey's success across his 12-year pro career is unrivalled within the city. He still stands as the only fighter from Portsmouth to win both world and Commonwealth titles.

Mark Chamberlain (red trunks). Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images.

But now he feels there are fighters from the city capable of matching his achievements.

And he believes the fact they're all coming through at the same time will help push each one to work even harder as they bid to become 'top dog' in the area.

Oakey said: 'They’ll all bounce off each other because of the competition.

‘My uncle Frank Hopkins does speak very, very highly of Mark Chamberlain.

‘They’ll all want to be the top dog as such - even though they’re all friends - but they’ll bounce off each other and train that little bit harder to get that little bit in front.'

Oakey says he 'broke the mould' for the city by turning pro and enjoying the glory he did during his glittering career.

But what pleased him most was proving to future generations that you can reach the heights in the sport coming from the city.

And he'll be willing McKinson, Ballingall and Chamberlain onto bring a whole host of boxing straps back to the city in years to come.

Oakey added: ‘I take great pleasure in knowing that I could have very well kick-started us having a big crop of champions coming from Portsmouth.

‘I’m glad I broke the mould, without sounding big-headed, from ordinary fighters to being a world champion.

‘Pro and amateur were completely different, no-one was really pro around our area, so I broke the mould.

‘From my perspective, I’m glad that I’ve given the city the realisation that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.'