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Mitchell could get another chance

PUBLISHED: 13:49 03 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 June 2015

Kevin Mitchell (left) in action with Jorge Linares in their WBC World lightweight title fight at the O2 Arena, London.

Kevin Mitchell (left) in action with Jorge Linares in their WBC World lightweight title fight at the O2 Arena, London.

PA/Press Association Images

Promoter Hearn wants another world shot

Kevin Mitchell (left) in action with Jorge Linares in their WBC World lightweight title fight at the O2 Arena, London.Kevin Mitchell (left) in action with Jorge Linares in their WBC World lightweight title fight at the O2 Arena, London.

Kevin Mitchell could still achieve his lifetime ambition and become world lightweight champion, despite his defeat against WBC king Jorge Linares at the 02 Arena on Saturday night.

Promoter Eddie Hearn has vowed to get another world title shot for Mitchell who was rescued by referee Victor Loughlin after two minutes 57 seconds of the tenth round.

There could surely be no dispute about the intervention. Mitchell was bleeding from cuts over both eyes and a busted nose plus an egg-size swelling that was seriously affecting his vision.

Hearn insists LInares is the toughest of the world lightweight titleholders, but said the challenger only had to be allowed to continue for a few more seconds to claim his belt.

“No argument with the stoppage, but if Kevin had survived to the bell the bout would have been halted because of the injuries and gone to the scorecards.

“With two judges putting him ahead and a third scoring it level, he would now be WBC world champion.”

After a fight that will live long in the memory, I scored the brave warriors desperately close at the finish.

Mitchell’s performance against a three-weight world champion surely rates as the best in his 42-fight career.

He matched the talented Venezuelan in a see-saw struggle as the pair produced an outstanding battle on the Matchroom promotion, certainly one of the best bills seen in this country for years.

The leading lightweights were locked in a stirring encounter that saw them trade lightning-fast blows in every round.

The challenger’s pre-fight prediction that he would knock out the champion looked good as he produced a right-left combination to floor Linares in the fifth round.

The Venezuelan hauled himself upright and survived Mitchell’s follow-up punches as the pair produced exciting action that brought roars of support from the packed arena.

They were both battered and bleeding in the 10th round when the grotesque swelling on the left side of Mitchell’s face affected his vision and left him open to the powerful rights thrown by the desperate champion.

The challenger bravely fought back, but wearily crumbled to the canvas only to regain his feet before the referee sensibly signalled it was all over.

The result leaves the rivals with identical records: 39 wins and three defeats. For Mitchell the defeats have all cost him versions of that elusive world title.


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