Lucas Ballingall vows to come back stronger after English title loss – by stepping up a weight category
Lucas Ballingall vowed to come back bigger and stronger from his English title defeat - by making the step up to super-lightweight.
Ballingall came up short in his bid to land the national lightweight belt, losing on a unanimous points decision to Derby's Myron Mills in Sheffield on Friday.
Still, the Portsmouth fighter could come away with his head held high in what was a pulsating 10-round battle broadcast live on Fightzone TV.
He went down 96-95 on two of the judges' scorecards, while the other scored the contest at 96-94 in favour of Mills.
But Ballingall, whose professional record now stands at 13-2 after a second successive defeat, insisted he would have moved up to super-lightweight no matter what - even if he had won the lightweight title.
The 24-year-old stressed making 135lbs has become too much of a struggle and he was 'weight-drained' for his fight with Mills.
Ballingall said: 'The aim was to step up to super-lightweight before that anyway, but because I was made mandatory for the English title we had to take it.
‘To be honest, I was weight-drained, I was too weight-drained. That was my last fight at lightweight no matter what.
‘I’m just too big for lightweight, I struggle too much to make it.
‘I made the weight the best way I could make the weight but that wasn’t me in the ring - that was me at 70 per cent.
‘People who know me can tell that wasn’t me at my best. Don’t get me wrong, I was 100 per cent fit, it was the fittest I’ve ever been.
‘My fitness and determination got me through the fight, but physically I was completely weight-drained.'
Ballingall is adamant his defeat to Mills will prove just a 'minor setback' on his career journey.
But he does accept he might have to 'build himself back up' with consecutive losses now on his record.
However, Ballingall is confident titles will come in the future as he prepares to step up to super-lightweight.
He added: 'It is what it is, I’m stepping up in weight now, hopefully the opportunities will come.
‘This is just a minor setback and I’ll be back winning titles.
‘At the end of the day, I’m coming off of two losses now - both losses I could have got the decision. I didn’t get knocked out in them, but I’m coming off two defeats.
‘I doubt I’ll get a title fight straightaway so I’ll have to probably build myself up a little bit to get my opportunity.
‘It is what it is, it’s part of the game, and I’m willing to do that to be where I need to be.'