Lucas Ballingall sees his challenge for the Southern Area lightweight championship as the next step towards becoming a Portsmouth legend.
Ballingall challenges Jeff Ofori for the belt at Havant Leisure Centre on Saturday, June 29 – and for the 22 year old, it’s just the start, writes Matt Bozeat.
He said: ‘If you talk about boxing in Portsmouth, nine out of 10 people talk about (ex British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight champion) Tony Oakey.
‘I want them to talk about me in years to come. I want to leave the same sort of legacy.
‘I want people in Portsmouth to talk about boxing and say: “Do you remember Lucas Ballingall? He was some fighter.”
‘I remember Tony towards the end of his career, but dad (Michael) was involved in his career and he was some fighter. He won the British, Commonwealth and WBU world titles and I would love to achieve what he did and put Portsmouth back on the boxing map.’
Ballingall has dreams of one day boxing at Fratton Park, along with his elder brother.
Michael McKinson has had impressive back-to-back wins over Sam McNess and Ryan Kelly.
Ballingall said: ‘One day, we will fill Fratton Park.
‘Players from all over the world who come to Fratton Park say the atmosphere is the best – and the boxing fans are just as mad!’
Ballingall shared the disappointment of Pompey fans when they missed out in the League One play offs – and says he will put a smile back on the face of the city’s sports-crazy fans by beating Ofori.
‘I’ve won all 12,’ he said.
‘And people want to see me in big fights.
‘I want to be in big fights.
‘I couldn’t get out of bed to fight a journeyman anymore.
‘I want proper 50-50 fights that will entertain the fans and that’s what this fight looks to be.
‘Ofori is 9-0 and beating him should get me a step closer to where I want to be.’