Mitchell risks it all to silence cocky’ Burns
KEVIN MITCHELL risks his British super featherweight crown and his world title bid, scheduled to take place early in 2010, when he defends against cocky Scot Ricky Burns in Newcastle on December 5, writes LEN WHALEY. Boosted by a 12-fight unbeaten run, Co
KEVIN MITCHELL risks his British super featherweight crown and his world title bid, scheduled to take place early in 2010, when he defends against cocky Scot Ricky Burns in Newcastle on December 5, writes LEN WHALEY.
Boosted by a 12-fight unbeaten run, Commonwealth champion Burns blasted Mitchell for: "Running like a big girl," to avoid fighting him.
"I've been waiting for this fight for ages, but I think Mitchell has been looking for soft touches, rather than risk a defence against a real threat like me," said the challenger, who has suffered just two defeats in 29 bouts.
Burns' boasts will not worry the titleholder - he knows that big talk is all part of the pre-fight build up, and Mitchell will certainly need no extra incentive to put the 30th straight victory on his pro record when he faces Burns.
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The British super-featherweight champion hopes that the new year will bring his own world title chance, with promoter Frank Warren trying to tempt WBO champion Roman 'Rocky' Martinez to defend against the fighter officially recognised as his number one contender on a big London show.
Mitchell, who recently switched camps to join father and son training duo Jimmy and Mark Tibbs working at Canning Town's Peacock and Ultrachem TKO Gyms, knows that his big chance will disappear if he fails to come through a winner in the December defence.
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There is no doubt that the 26-year-old from Coatbridge is a serious threat with his 12-fight winning run, which includes victories in title clashes in his last four fights.
Coincidentally, the Scot's last defeat came in a British title meeting with Leeds' rival Carl Johanneson, who scored a clear points win over Burns in 2007 - a year later Mitchell halted Johanneson in a nine-round thriller to take the British title.
Mitchell versus Burns certainly adds appeal to promoter Warren's big December bill at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena, which is headlined by Amir Khan's defence of his world light-welterweight title against top challenger Dimitriy Salita, the adopted New Yorker, born in the Ukraine.
Another fighter from the Tibbs' camp is also set for action on the Newcastle bill, unbeaten middleweight Olympian Billy Joe Saunders looks for his fifth pro win in a supporting bout on the show.