Mitchell boys head west on glory trail

KEVIN MITCHELL is looking to follow the Amir Khan route to world title glory by crossing the Atlantic to work under top American trainer Freddie Roach at the famous Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, writes LEN WHALEY. The pair had talks in Manchester last wee

KEVIN MITCHELL is looking to follow the Amir Khan route to world title glory by crossing the Atlantic to work under top American trainer Freddie Roach at the famous Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, writes LEN WHALEY.

The pair had talks in Manchester last week when Roach was in Amir Khan's corner, as he captured the WBA light-welterweight title by defeating Andreas Kotelnik in the feature fight.

On the same night, undefeated Mitchell recorded his 29th straight pro success with an eighth-round stoppage victory over Madrid-based Rudy Encarnacion in a scheduled 10-round clash on the undercard of the MEN Arena show.

Now the big-hitting British super-featherweight title-holder will head for Roach's gym to prepare for contest number 30, which he hopes will bring his own championship chance.


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His promoter, Frank Warren, plans to tempt WBO champion Roman Martinez, to defend against Mitchell, officially recognised as the number one contender, in a big London showdown in the autumn.

The 24-year-old British champion and his younger brother Vinnie, a 22-year-old super-featherweight prospect who has chalked up nine straight wins as a pro, hope to fly off to the USA as soon as possible to start their training.

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"I had talks with Freddie Roach in Manchester and I can hardly wait for the chance to work with him in LA at a gym surrounded by great fighters like Manny Pacquiao," said Mitchell on Monday.

"He has an apartment out there where Vinnie and I will be staying and we will be speaking with him this week to tie up the final arrangements."

The triumph of Khan - the 25th world champion trained by Roach - has boosted the reputation of the coach who took over Khan's career following his first-round defeat suffered against Breidis Prescott a year ago.

Few thought after that crushing defeat that the Bolton star would be world champion in three fights.

Mitchell insisted: "The decision to work with Freddie at his Wild Card Gym is certainly no reflection on my trainer Paul Cook, who I have worked with successfully for many years.

"It is just that I believe Freddie Roach can add a new dimension to my career, using his experience working with leading fighters at world level.

"He can help me prepare for my world title fight against Martinez."

Former West Ham pro lightweight Cook, trained Mitchell during his early amateur career and took over after the bright prospect had been with other trainers during the early days of his paid campaign, which followed his outstanding amateur success with the West Ham and Dagenham clubs.

* PAUL COOK admitted this week: "I must say that I was very disappointed to hear from Kevin that he was moving on after all my work with him over the years - but it is something I have to accept.

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