Lucas Ballingall makes the first defense of his English super-lightweight crown against Billy Pickles.
I’m a big fan of the venue matchmaking for this fight because it’s welcoming to finally see a hometown fighter get a chance to defend a belt in his local area, aside from TV-backed fighters.
The bout has an additional incentive for Ballingall, as he is looking to avenge a controversial points loss for Michael McKinson against Pickles in the amateurs.
There is also a pot of gold for the winner as the bout doubles as a Commonwealth super-lightweight eliminator.
Lucas Ballingall Wants Dalton Smith
The holder of the belt is Dalton Smith after his emphatic knockout to secure the title against Sam Maxwell.
Ballingall isn’t of the mindset of waiting for Dalton to vacate and move on with his own ambitions, as he expressed a willingness to take the fight with the Sheffield prospect.
‘Whoever comes through that one (Smith Maxwell, in which Smith was victorious after the interview with Ballingall was filmed), and when I come through my fight with Pickles, yeh, I’ll fight anyone!’
Ballingall’s Portsmouth headline outing is promoted by TM14. The small hall events outlet successfully secured Ballingall’s shot at the English title – and he is grateful for their faith in his career.
‘I only wanted to defend the belt in Portsmouth. TM14 was willing to put on a show there and I’m thankful to them.’
He also extended his gratitude to TM14 for putting five of his teammates on the bill as well.
One of the intriguing contests on the undercard is the second professional fight for Amy Cooper.
She drew her first contest but is the second-best super middleweight in the UK, by dint of the fact that the only other active (female) super-middle is the recently-crowned Savannah Marshall.
Another British female fighter in action is the Grant Smith-trained, Ebonie Jones. She hails from Portsmouth and last fought on the history-making Shields Marshall all-female bill.
The full fight night takes place next Saturday at the Mountbatten Centre.
By Harry Duffy