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Jo will go early' vows confident Kev

PUBLISHED: 16:07 20 February 2008 | UPDATED: 14:12 02 July 2010

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 09:  Carl Johanneson celebrates retaining his British Super after beating Ricky Burns at Leeds Town Hall on February 9, 2007 in Leeds, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 09: Carl Johanneson celebrates retaining his British Super after beating Ricky Burns at Leeds Town Hall on February 9, 2007 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

2007 Getty Images

Kevin Mitchell has been given an extra incentive to defeat British super-featherweight champion Carl Johanneson in his challenge for the British title on the Sports Network promotion at the O2 Arena on March 8, after his nomination for a European title sh

Kevin Mitchell has been given an extra incentive to defeat British super-featherweight champion Carl Johanneson in his challenge for the British title on the Sports Network promotion at the O2 Arena on March 8, after his nomination for a European title shot had been confirmed, writes LEN WHALEY.

The undefeated current Commonwealth champion has been named the mandatory challenger to meet Sergey Gulyakevich later this year - but knows he must stay on his winning run next month.

He has been working hard for weeks in the gym of Dagenham trainer Paul Cook and as usual he is not short of confidence, insisting he has the power to flatten Johanneson to win the British title - and then wants the European belt next.

Explosive

He says he'll make the chief supporting bout even more explosive than the battle of the big punchers in the main event, which sees WBO cruiserweight king Maccarinelli taking on WBA/WBC counterpart David Haye.

"I predict it will be a Sports Network double success on March 8, because I'll beat Johanneson and then Enzo will do a job on Haye," said Mitchell, who has scored 18 inside-the-distance wins his 25 straight pro victories.

"Enzo has got too much grit and too much determination, and I can't see him going home empty-handed.

"As for my fight with Johanneson, I reckon it's going to be an early night - for me.

"It's not going more than a few rounds because I'm going to knock him out. The fans better get in to the show early doors or they will miss the fight of the night.

"Everyone keeps talking about Johanneson's punching power, but I really don't believe he hits as hard as I do.

Professional

"But at the end of the day I don't care how hard he hits because I've got a great chin. I've never been down, amateur or professional and I'll take whatever Carl throws and come back twice as hard.

"After I beat him, I've got a fight for the European title to look forward to, and then hopefully, I'll be challenging for a world title by the end of the year.

"Alex Arthur is currently number one in the country, but I'm closing in fast. A fight against him at the end of the year would be a massive fight in the UK, and that's what I'm aiming for."

The British title challenger, as usual, can count on the backing of his large-sized supporting when he makes his bid on the show which promises to be London's biggest boxing night of the year

Mitchell fans have been buying tickets to witness what many see as the toughest test yet.

Tickets for the 02 Arena show on March 8 are available by calling 07946 383318.

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