Birmingham's boxing dream becomes reality

DAVID BIRMINGHAM has promised to perform as he fulfils his dream of boxing at the home of British boxing

Dave Birmingham will fight Kristian Laight at Londons York Hall tonight Picture: Mick Young
Dave Birmingham will fight Kristian Laight at Londons York Hall tonight Picture: Mick Young

The former Pompey defender takes his second step in the pro ranks tonight when he meets journeyman Kristian Laight at London’s York Hall.

The Bethnal Green venue is regarded as the spiritual home of the noble art and has played host to a long list of boxing legends.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

In recent times, the likes of Ricky Hatton, Carl Froch, David Haye and Anthony Joshua are some of the names who’ve performed there.

Birmingham will now follow in their footsteps against Laight as they meet over four rounds in their lightweight contest.

The 35-year-old is focused on making the most of the opportunity in the capital.

And Birmingham knows a strong performance can open up avenues for him.

He said: ‘When I was told I was getting the chance to box at York Hall, the home of boxing, I couldn’t believe it.

‘I’ve been before to see Floyd Moore fight there, and the atmosphere is just something else.

‘I’ve got to thank my promoter, Steve Goodwin, for giving me the chance to do that.

‘It’s a dream and the opportunity of a lifetime.

‘There’s been a lot of people box there before, like Ricky Hatton, and I might be in shock when I think about that afterwards!

‘But I’ve just got to focus on the job ahead of me beforehand.

‘There could be a lot of different people from the sport watching. So I want to make sure I knuckle down and concentrate on doing my job.’

Birmingham has been put through his paces in readiness for action with a three-day stint at an army boot camp in Dorset.

The Michael Ballingall-trained man was put through the wringer by stablemate Chris Hobbs, who’s also in the army.

And that has been supplemented by some decent sparring to sharpen his skills with the likes of Lucas Ballingall, Tommy Kindon and Ricky Little.

Birmingham is confident that’s got him ready for the test of Laight, who’s taken the likes of Martin J Ward, Terry Flanagan and Isaac Lowe the distance.

‘I’ve been at an army camp in Blandford for three days with Floyd Moore,’ he added.

‘Chris Hobbs ran us ragged with all the circuits and swimming. It didn’t help he’s a Southampton fan, either!

‘That has really sharpened me up with the sparring, which was really good quality.

‘Now the preparation is done and it’s about dealing with my opponent.

‘He switches and talks to you, which I’m ready for. I’ve got good support again and I’m looking forward to putting on a show for them.’