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Myron Mills vs Lucas Ballingall kicks off Fightzone

Lucas Ballingall
Myron Mills and Lucas Ballingall top the bill in Sheffield as hardcore-friendly Fightzone App lands

THE Fightzone App launches with a show in the car park of Sheffield Arena on Friday night. Fight Academy’s promotion is topped by a good-looking trade fight as Derby’s Myron Mills (14-1) defends his English lightweight championship against Lucas Ballingall [pictured] (13-1).

Sheffield welterweight Anthony “The Truth” Tomlinson (12-0) faces an eight-rounder after a fight with James Moorcroft fell through.

The ever-inventive Dennis Hobson is a partner in the App that he hopes will deliver a minimum of 50 shows every year. “It’s ambitious,” admitted Hobson, “We will be buying in content. This isn’t a You Tube channel. Viewers will get TV quality on an App. We’ve brought together experienced boxing people, businessmen and TV people.”

Hobson says Fightzone viewers will see prospects blossom into contenders and champions. “We want kids to get exposure from day one and build them up until they become household names and hopefully world champions,” he said. “Fighters don’t have to get to 10-0 to get noticed anymore. We have joined forces with several different promoters and are putting together a stable of fighters.”

The fight between Mills and Ballingall was first mooted a couple of years ago after the Derby box-puncher won the vacant English belt by stopping Marcus Ffrench.

Ballingall, the younger brother of rated welterweight Michael McKinson, has since suffered the frustration of fights with Jeff Ofori and Archie Sharp falling through and ended up taking a fight in Russia last August.

He was beaten over eight by Arslan Magomedov (4-1-1). The 24-year-old from Portsmouth thought it should have gone his way. Ballingall had won his first 13 fights against journeymen, with the exception of Karl Kelly (1-0), who was outpointed over six in Belfast three years ago.

Mills has a more impressive CV. The 25-year-old from Derby has better wins on his record and when he lost, it was close on a close decision to a fighter who’s gone on to win major honours.

Clifton Mitchell, his uncle and trainer, felt Mills deserved to get the verdict over Welshman Gavin Gwynne (9-0) in a British-title eliminator in October, 2018. The three judges didn’t see it that way, scoring 96-94 (twice) and 97-93.

Gwynne has gone on to claim the vacant Commonwealth title by breaking down Belfast’s unbeaten Sean McComb (11-0) in February, while Mills made a successful English-title defence by outpointing Kane Baker (11-5) on a majority vote, a result that looks better given what the honest Birmingham fighter has gone on to achieve. That was Mills’ last fight, in November, 2019.

At 5ft 9ins, Ballingall is an inch taller than the champion, has long arms and moves well. The style is a bit loose and Ballingall won’t want to give Mills too many chances to land the right hand on his chin. That was the shot that unravelled Ffrench (15-3) when they fought for the vacant English belt three years ago, dropping him four times.

Mills sometimes tries too hard to land the right hand, but so far, only Gwynne has beaten him and the record also shows a majority points win over Luke Paddock (18-2) at Walsall Town Hall in October, 2017, a fight Myron took at only a few days’ notice.

We fancy him to keep his belt with a points win on Friday night.

Tomlinson is an exciting addition to the Fight Academy stable. The 29-year-old has stopped his last five, victims including Jayce Dixon (4-0), Kyle Fox (6-0), Rob Hunt (26-5-2) and Stewart Burt (13-1-1).

The ninth-round stoppage of Scotland’s Burt, on the Kell Brook-Mark DeLuca undercard last February, was an eliminator for the British and Commonwealth belts currently held by Chris Jenkins and showed why Tomlinson is proving such a handful.

The jab and left-hook counter were quality punches and though much of his other work appeared sloppy, it was effective. Tomlinson often threw himself off balance as he swung shots at Burt, but he kept swinging them and when the Scot didn’t see them coming and they connected, they hurt.

Tomlinson lashed Burt with a looping right in the ninth that rocked him to his boots and then jumped all over him to force the stoppage. The sloppiness is explained by Tomlinson’s lack of amateur experience – only 15 bouts – but nevertheless, he’s a handful.

The Verdict Early days for Fightzone but great to see a new way to watch British boxing.

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