He was snapped up by top promoters Fight Factory, won his debut, then disappeared.
Eight years on, Balmer is back in the gym and preparing to box at Hove Town Hall on Saturday, June 22.
Balmer was introduced to promoter Kaz Evans at a big show in Crawley in February and the 31 year-old laughed: “Kaz has talked me into getting off the couch and back in the ring !”
Balmer explained his missing years.
“Everything was going well,” he said. “I did well sparring lads with good reputations, got a good deal, but picked up a hand injury.
“I had a young family to feed, so had to go out and earn a living.
“I’m in a better position now and it’s time to get back in the ring before it’s too late.
“My kids don’t even know I boxed and I want them to know their dad was good at something.
“If all goes well, I think I can get back to a decent level and win something.
“I’m a young 31 year-old. I’ve always been a clean liver. I’ve always been into keeping fit.
“There was a bit of hype about me a few years ago and it’s about time I lived up to it.”
Balmer has been sharpening his skills sparring stable mates Lee Jenman, Marcus Eaton and Ben Butler.
All are set to be matched in Hove and Balmer says he’s rediscovering the skills that made him such a hot prospect.
He had around 60 amateur bouts with Southwick ABC before turning professional and said: “I started boxing when I was 12 years old and it was a massive part of my life.
“It will take time for it all to fall back into place again.
“My footwork and timing is a bit off, but my power has improved and my fitness is coming along. I’m running at six o’clock every morning and going to the gym every night. I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”