After a long wait, the first major British boxing event of 2015 takes place from London’s O2 Arena, as a two-time world title challenger attempts to qualify for his chance to make it third time lucky.
Mitchell vs Estrada, Saturday night 8pm, Sky Sports 1
Kevin Mitchell seems to have been on the cusp of the big time for so long that it’s hard to believe he is just 30-years-old. The 40 fight veteran has an enviable 38-2 record, but is best known for his two losses, both of which were in world title bouts.
The first loss, in May 2010 was catastrophic. After 31 wins in a row, including victories over the likes of Briedis Prescott, and Carl Johanneson, Mitchell was booked in a match with Australia’s Michael Katsidis at West Ham’s Upton Park.
With the interim WBO lightweight title on the line, and tens of thousands of Mitchell’s fans in attendance, the Englishman famously under prepared, and was stopped after just three rounds.
What followed however, was perhaps the most impressive win of his career, as Mitchell returned over a year later to finish the then 31-0 John Murray in the eighth round of their fight. Another win over Felix Lora saw a second world title stint against Ricky Burns end in a fourth round stoppage, with many wondering where Mitchell went next.
A switch of promoters to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom followed, and Mitchell has since won five in a row leading to this potential WBC eliminator, including a terrific come from behind victory against Ghislain Maduma back in May.
His opponent in London is the 32-3-1 Daniel Estrada, and the Mexican is coming off a ninth round TKO loss against current WBC champion Omar Figueroa. Estrada’s other two career losses were split decision verdicts, and he certainly has the power to stop Mitchell, having finished 24 opponents across an 11 year career.
Mitchell too has power, with 28 stoppage wins, and on his day is a handful for any lightweight on the planet. The question is, will this be another of his off days? Training under Tony Sims indicates that won’t be the case, and the bookies agree, with Mitchell a 4/11 favourite against the 9/4 Estrada.
Elsewhere on the London bill, Islington’s 19-1 John Ryder needs a big year at Middleweight, and begins 2015 with a fight against Argentina’s 31-3 Billi Facundo Godoy, who holds a win over Jorge Heiland, but has been stopped two times in his last four fights.
Two 50/50 matches also feature on the undercard, as 10-0 Tommy Martin faces 12-1 Ricky Boylan, while 14-2 John Wayne Hibbert competes against the always exciting 11-3 Tyler Goodjohn. Meanwhile, two excellent prospects make their debuts in former European amateur bronze medalist Charlie Edwards, and the dynamic Cruiserweight Isaac Chamberlain.
In non-televised action this weekend, New Zealand rugby icon Sonny Bill Williams resumes his boxing career, and the 6-0 Heavyweight fights for the first time in just under two years against the 70 fight veteran Chauncy Welliver.Reuse content