Mitchell faces tricky Kenyan warm-up
KEVIN MITCHELL and Michael Lomax, both former West Ham BC amateurs, now stablemates in the camp of successful trainer Paul Cook, face vital tests at Manchester s MEN Arena on Saturday, WRITES LEN WHALEY. British super-featherweight champion Mitchell, is b
KEVIN MITCHELL and Michael Lomax, both former West Ham BC amateurs, now stablemates in the camp of successful trainer Paul Cook, face vital tests at Manchester's MEN Arena on Saturday, WRITES LEN WHALEY.
British super-featherweight champion Mitchell, is booked for an eight-round supporting contest on the show, when Bolton star Amir Khan challenges Andreas Kotelnik for the WBA world title on Frank Warren's big Manchester promotion.
Warren has already pencilled in undefeated Mitchell's own world title challenge in September, when he is scheduled to challenge Puerto Rican titleholder Roman 'Rocky' Martinez for the WBO super-featherweight crown.
Talented southpaw Lomax looks forward to the biggest chance of his ring career, when he faces Sheffield's British welterweight champion Kell Brook, who hopes to claim victory and a Lonsdale belt outright when they meet on Saturday's show.
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Lomax, who won ABA honours during his amateur days, gets his eagerly-awaited chance to break into the boxing big time, when he meets the Sheffield fighter - who has already picked up the nickname 'Special K' in building up a 19-fight unbeaten record.
The challenger, who has suffered just one defeat in his 17 pro fights, goes north in a confident mood as trainer Cook reported: "Michael knows he will start as the underdog against Brook, but he has been looking great in the gym and is really confident he can cause an upset.
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"It won't be easy, but we are looking forward to coming home with a double to celebrate," added Cook, just back from a trip to Paris where another member of the stable, Colin Lynes, looked an unlucky loser in his European light-welterweight title fight
Like Lomax, Mitchell also knows he cannot afford any mistakes on Saturday when he faces Kenyan rival John Gicharu, in an eight-round non-title fight on promoter Frank Warren's star-studded bill.
Saturday's opponent Gicharu has recorded 12 victories in 17 bouts, winning his last two contests in Kenya following a British campaign that included a points defeat against former WBU champion Derry Matthews.
The British champion, with 28 straight wins, has already been recognised as the official WBO number one challenger to the Puerto Rican champion - who took the crown from Mitchell's close friend and stablemate Nicky Cook, with a fourth round victory at the MEN Arena in March.
Saturday's bill includes the Comm-onwealth light-middleweight title clash between Manchester's Matthew Hall and Lon-doner Anthony Small.
Also cruiserweight Enzo Maccarinelli will be in action, meeting Russian Denis Lebedev for the vacant WBO inter-continental cruiserweight title.