‘The Problem’ eyes statement win at Fight Camp
Michael McKinson says he is aiming to steal the show by “dealing” with Przemyslaw Runowski “in style” when he puts his WBO Global Welterweight Title on the line against the Pole on the final weekend of Matchroom Fight Camp this Saturday August 14, live worldwide on DAZN

‘The Problem’ claimed a breakout victory over Chris Kongo as he floored his British Welterweight rival to seal a unanimous decision and move to 20-0 (2 KOs) on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s huge rematch with Alexander Povetkin in Gibraltar back in March. 

The Portsmouth southpaw, who is trained by his father Michael Ballingall and managed by MTK Global’s Lee Eaton, inked promotional terms with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing the following month and believes he finally has the platform he needs to prove that he is the number one 147lbs fighter in Britain. 

Ranked at No.4 in the world with the WBO, 27-year-old McKinson says it’s his dream to fight at Fratton Park – the home of his beloved Portsmouth FC – in a World Title fight one day, and the undefeated contender can take a step closer to making that dream become a reality by defeating former Josh Kelly foe Runowski this weekend. 

“Before the Kongo fight, I was saying that my career would start on March 27th, and I really did believe that,” said McKinson. “It was my first fight on the big stage, and I was an underdog. A lot of people picked Chris over me. I was seeing all of the polls on Twitter and stuff like that. Nobody backed me to win. I beat him fair and square. Chris is a good fighter, but I proved I’m a better fighter. My career has only just started. I’m on the big stage finally – it took me 20 fights to get here. I plan on staying here. 

“If you look at my record, I’ve dropped my last three opponents in the first round – they’ve all been unbeaten. I think I’ve dropped six of my last seven, or five of my last six. People do underestimate my power. I can dig, I know I can dig. I will prove that to people in the future. That doesn’t matter though, I’m beating these opponents with relative ease. The knockouts will come, and I reckon when they do come, I’ll get a lot more respect on my name.

“In the UK especially there’s nobody like me. I don’t think there’s anybody on my level. I’m still learning a lot and I’m still developing. Each fight I have I’m just getting better and better. Who knows where I can be in a year or two? At the moment I’m happy with my development and I’m excited for my future. 
“I watched Fight Camp last year and at the time I hadn’t caught my break yet and I was frustrated. I was just thinking, ‘I wish I could get on shows like that’. I’m finally here now. It’s great to be a part of Fight Camp but I’m not here to be a part of it, I’m here to really shine and standout on Fight Camp 3 and that’s what I plan on doing. 

“People look at his only defeat to Josh Kelly but since then he’s bounced back very well. He’s coming off a couple of very good knockout wins so he’s going to be confident. He’s going to be game, and he’s going to try and knock me out. They all do. They’re all confident and game and they all try and knock me out. It’s a fight, as long as I’m prepared to the best I can, it’s a fight I can definitely win. It’s a fight I can definitely look very good in winning too. 

“People that know me know that I don’t like sitting at the same level. I’m constantly trying to challenge myself and get harder fights. This fight is a step up. If I want to be pushing on to these world level fighters, then I’ve got to be dealing with people like Runowski in style.”

McKinson vs. Runowski is part of a huge night of action, Light-Heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi (14-0, 12 KOs) steps up against Ricards Bolotniks (18-5-1, 8 KOs) in a WBA World Title Eliminator, Joe Cordina (12-0, 7 KOs) returns in a ten round Lightweight clash with Joshuah Hernandez (10-3, 8 KOs), Hopey Price (4-0, 1 KO) meets Claudio Grande(5-0, 3 KOs) in a six round Super-Bantamweight contest, Glasgow’s Kash Farooq (15-1, 6 KOs) clashes with Luis Gerardo Castillo (28-2, 18 KOs) for the WBC International Bantamweight Title, the USA’s Raymond Ford (8-0-1, 4 KOs) meets Watford’s Reece Bellotti (14-4, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBA Continental Featherweight Title and Manchester Super-Featherweight Zelfa Barrett (25-1, 15 KOs) joins the card as a late addition. 
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Undefeated Welterweight Michael McKinson has signed promotional terms with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing following his breakout win over Chris Kongo on the Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte II undercard in Gibraltar last month. 
The Portsmouth southpaw (20-0, 2 KOs) stunned Kongo with an aggressive start, flooring the Bermondsey fighter in the opening round as he edged a closely contested encounter to secure the WBO Global Title with scores of 97-93, 96-94, 95-94.
Prior to that win the 27-year-old, who is trained by his father Michael Ballingall and managed by MTK Global’s Lee Eaton, had picked up the WBO European, WBC International Silver and WBC Youth Welterweight Titles since turning professional in October 2014. 
‘The Problem’, ranked at number 6 in the world with the WBO, hasn’t been shy in calling out the top names in the domestic Welterweight scene, including new stablemates Conor Benn, Josh Kelly and Florian Marku in the aftermath on his most recent win, and the Pompey fanatic feels he can no longer be overlooked. 
“Signing with Matchroom is the best thing that’s happened to my career,” said McKinson. “It’s been frustrating times for a while, but I got my chance against Chris Kongo, and now I’m in the position where I want to be in my career, so I’m really excited.
“I’ve worked hard for a long time. This is my seventh year as a professional and I have finally got something that I want. When we were on the plane out to Gibraltar, Eddie Hearn said to go out there and chase your dreams, and I made it clear all week that it was going to be the Michael McKinson show. I’m here to stay and it feels good that everything I’ve said has come true.
“None of this would be possible without MTK Global too. I’m blessed to have them backing me and supporting me, and for the first time in my career I’m not worried about getting big fights. I’ve got full faith and trust in Matchroom to get me these big opportunities.
“For a long time, my name was never mentioned alongside some of the other Welterweights, but now my name is in the picture. It’s no secret I want to face all of the guys out there, so let’s all fight each other.
“My biggest goal is to one day fight at Fratton Park in Portsmouth. Every little bit of success I have is making that dream come true little by little, so hopefully it gets done one day and I can make history for my city.”
“As I always say, ‘winner stays on’, and I’m delighted to be working with Michael McKinson,” said Eddie Hearn. “For a long time he has been an avoided fighter and now after his huge win in Gibraltar, he is ready to move onto World level. Michael has a great mindset and a huge fan base in Portsmouth, we are already planning a major step-up for him in the summer. Next summer we want to be at Fratton Park in a blockbuster – exciting times ahead!”
Lee Eaton said: “I’m over the moon for Michael for earning a promotional deal with Matchroom. He has come up the hardest route possible and has produced some fantastic performances over the last few years.

“He came to us when he was 13-0 and has fought anybody that was put in front of him, so I’m so pleased that all of his hard work over the years is finally paying off.”
You can follow McKinson’s journey on Twitter: @mikeytheproblem and Instagram: mikeytheproblem

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