Kevin Mitchell has vowed to deliver on his third attempt at winning a world title as he prepares to get “nasty” against WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares at the O2 Arena on Saturday night.
The two defeats in Mitchell’s colourful 41-fight career – one interspersed with some spectacular falls from grace involving alcohol and other issues – have been inflicted by Michael Katsidis and Ricky Burns when the 30-year-old from Dagenham was challenging for their WBO belt.
Having been flattened by Katsidis in 2010 and Burns two years later, Mitchell has rebuilt by stringing together six successive victories to set up his showdown against the Venezuelan puncher Linares.
Mitchell said: “Jorge is a three-weight world champion and is a great fighter, but I fancy this and I know I’ll beat him. I’ll promise I’ll be world champion this time around. It’s going to be nasty and it’s going to be gritty, but that’s what I’m best at. All my West Ham fans will be there.”
The fight is one of three world-title battles being staged, with Kell Brook’s second defence of his IBF welterweight belt against Frankie Gavin topping Eddie Hearn’s “Rule Britannia” bill.
Lee Selby, dubbed the “Welsh Floyd Mayweather”, challenges for Evgeny Gradovich’s IBF featherweight strap, while Anthony Joshua faces a step up in class against the wily Kevin Johnson. Joshua has blasted out all 12 of his professional opponents inside three rounds, but the American has never been knocked out and lasted the distance in his 2009 world-title challenge against Vitali Klitschko. He also went 12 rounds with Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury.
He said: “I’ve been ready for two weeks. I’ve been a pro since 2003, this is the best shape I’ve ever been in.”Reuse content