Former Pompey man savours stoppage pro win

DAVE BIRMINGHAM savoured the moment of his sporting life as he celebrated a knockout start to his pro career.

The former Pompey man completed the transition from footballer to professional boxer in impressive style on Sunday.

Birmingham served up a second-round stoppage of Latvian Antons Zacests in front of his army of fans in Portsmouth.

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And the 34-year-old delivered evidence of his high-intensity approach as he put his opponent down five times on the way to victory.

Birmingham enjoyed senior football at Fratton Park and a lengthy career on the non-league circuit.

But the lightweight admitted his weekend performance bettered all of his previous experiences.

Birmingham said: ‘It was an amazing feeling.

‘I’ve never experienced anything like that in all of my time playing football. It was absolutely brilliant.

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‘The ring walk, the cheering and everything about it I will never forget.

‘The support was massive and we had people coming from all over to get behind me.

‘There were Bognor supporters, ex-Pompey players and Gosport players there.

‘The whole of the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation were there along with friends and family.

‘It was immense and overwhelming.

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‘Now I want to stay busy and get more contests under my belt.

‘Whether that’s in Portsmouth, London or anywhere else, it doesn’t matter.

‘My supporters have said they will be prepared to follow me anywhere.

‘So it’s onwards and upwards and I can’t wait to go again.’

Elsewhere, Mikey McKinson served up a shut-out points win over Stanislav Nenko to take his unbeaten record to eight contests.

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The Portsmouth welterweight racked up a success which showed signs of promise.

Now trainer and father, Michael Ballingall, will look to push McKinson forward.

Ballingall said: ‘Mikey has talent and it could be a case of him trying to stay busy and then going on a show at short notice and being underestimated.

‘He has the ability to put himself in contention.’

Southampton’s Billy Parker picked up a stoppage over Indu Gill at lightweight.

Chris Hobbs suffered a dislocated shoulder forcing him to retire against Swindon’s Kelvin Young, after looking comfortable before the injury blow.