Mitchell: I’ll be back
- Credit: PA WIRE
Lightweight wants to continue after loss
Battered, bruised but still unbowed, Kevin Mitchell insisted “I’ll be back” following his 10th-round defeat in the WBC world lightweight showdown with Venezuela’s Jorge Linares.
After watching re-runs of the epic battle Mitchell refused to condemn the intervention by referee Victor Loughlin with just three seconds remaining in the round.
The fiercely-fought exchanges left both fighters bruised and bleeding, while Mitchell’s facial damage included a swelling that impaired his vision.
“The fight had to be stopped because I was unable to see,” said the 30-year-old Mitchell after accepting the sad ending along with his trainer Tony Sims.
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However the challenger is convinced that it was only those injuries that prevented him winning the fight, which was his third attempt to take a version of the world title.
“I have watched the fight and I was doing the job I intended, I was ahead on points,” added Mitchell, who was backed by his army of fans who chanted his name and sang the West Ham anthem ‘Bubbles’ to add to the electric atmosphere at the packed O2 Arena.
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Even as the winner and his cornermen celebrated the dramatic victory, Mitchell climbed on to the ring corner post and gave his followers the cross-armed Hammers salute.
“The support was overwhelming, they are the best fans in the world,” he insisted.
Mitchell even joked about returning to the gym on Monday and encouragement for him to continue his career comes from Scot Jim Watt, a former holder on the world lightweight title.
He said: “I hope Kevin Mitchell does not think this is the end of the line, he was outstanding at the 02.
“He could not have performed any better against a very good and experienced world champion. I had him a couple of rounds up at the finish.”