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Mitchell: No more messing about

11:00 11 December 2015

Kevin Mitchell skipping in the ring during Monday

Kevin Mitchell skipping in the ring during Monday's open session (pic: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Lightweight ready to rule world

Kevin Mitchell strikes during Monday's open session (pic: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)Kevin Mitchell strikes during Monday's open session (pic: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

Kevin Mitchell this week insisted he is no longer a party boy, but a dedicated professional who will be a world boxing champion after his next two fights.

The first of those bouts comes at the O2 Arena on Saturday when Dagenham hero Mitchell faces big punching Venezuelan Ismael Barroso for the WBA interim lightweight title on the sold-out Matchroom show.

Speaking after a public workout in Canary Wharf on Monday, Mitchell predicted he will triumph to become a mandatory challenger for Manchester fighter Anthony Crolla’s current WBA belt.

Mitchell and Crolla both fight under the Matchroom banner and their all-British world title fight would be a big attraction.

Kevin Mitchell gets strapped up during Monday's open session (pic: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)Kevin Mitchell gets strapped up during Monday's open session (pic: LAWRENCE LUSTIG)

“It will be a massive fight, but I will win it – I promise you,” said Mitchell.

“I know Anthony – he’s a nice guy – but I will take that title when we meet.”

First Mitchell must overcome the unbeaten Barroso, who has scored 18 victories to date, with 17 of them inside the distance.

“He’s a terrific puncher, but so was Breidis Prescott and I beat him comfortably,” added Mitchell.

“He will be dangerous at first, but I will box steadily in the early rounds and then take over.”

Mitchell returns to the O2 ring where he lost a terrific tussle to Jorge Linares for the WBC belt in May.

“I was winning the fight, the judges had me ahead when it was stopped on cuts,” said Mitchell, who had lost his two earlier world title attempts against Michael Katsidis and Ricky Burns due to poor preparation.

“I was not living the life a top fighter should. I was a kid, out boozing and partying,” he said.

“But since I’ve rejoined my old trainer Tony Sims, he has straightened me out and I am dedicated to becoming a world champion.”

The Matchroom bill, screened on Sky Sports Box Office, also features the all-British heavyweight title 
showdown between London 2012 Olympic champion Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte.

Chris Eubank Jr takes on Spike O’Sullivan, while Tony Bellew meets Mateusz Masternak in other eagerly-awaited contests.

Josh Warrington is also billed to face Jorge Sanchez, while Olympic champion Luke Campbell defends his WBC International lightweight title against Yvan Mendy and Paulie Malignaggi challenges Antonio Moscatiello for the EU welterweight title.

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