Kevin Mitchell, comes up against the tough Gladiator from Australia Michael Katsidis on Saturday night, 15th May. The fight is for the interim WBO lightweight title, and will be staged at Upton Park, the home of Mitchell’s favorite football team West Ham United.
The fight is on the same night that Amir Khan defends his WBC light-welterweight title against Paulie Malignaggi at Madison Square Garden
in New York.
Manchester’s British light-weight champion John Murray, fighting tomorrow night 7th May and hoping to add the European title to his Lonsdale belt, when he takes on Gary Buckland for the vacant title.
The three young UK fighters are well on course to meeting in the middle and setting up what could be a return to the halcyon day’s of British boxing, when the best fought the best and the fan’s were treated to the battles of Watson, Benn and Eubank for instance.
The jump from lightweight to light-welterweight as been some what of a smooth transition for Khan, where he has gone on to win the world title, whilst now upping sticks to the US to ply his trade with Freddy Roach in LA and signing for Golden Boy Promotions.
Mitchell and Murray still have unfinished business at lightweight to take care of and a fight between these two old school fighters, could be more of a possibility, before they inevitably move up in weight to tail Khan.
Mitchell who in his last fight defeated Khan’s former conqueror Bredis Prescott in a fine performance, is fast on the heals of Bolton man.
Khan is expected to have a relatively easy second defense of his world title against Malignaggi, with Mitchell insisting the former Olympic silver medallist has taken the easy option.
Mitchell’s fight in contrast against Katsidis, a proven and renowned puncher at world level is in most quarters considered much tougher than Khan’s New York assignment, although fighting a New Yorker in New York, is far from plain sailing.
Khan should win, and was echoed this week by former champion Ricky Hatton
, who said, “Having beaten Malignaggi comfortably myself I do not envisage any problems for Amir and expect him to win easily”.
Mitchell however believes a fight with Khan isn’t going to happen anytime soon, and only a Khan loss will give hope to any meeting taking place, when Murray believes Khan would then have to look for him.
“The only time I’d get to meet Khan is if he got beaten and wanted to up his profile,” said the 25-year-old from Dagenham, talking to the Telegraph.
“If Khan gets beaten again then no one will want to know him. They’ll know he’s not the real thing. It could happen but if he’d fancied the fight it would have been on by now.
“He’s fighting Malignaggi next – that says it all. Malignaggi is made for him because he doesn’t punch.
“Khan’s brilliant but is vulnerable in certain areas. Anyone who can catch him has got a half decent chance. I’ve been told Khan is getting 1.1 million US dollars for the fight – that’s crazy money because there’s no risk involved.
“I’ve definitely got a much harder fight and that shows what I’m about and that I’ve got the nerve to pick the tough fights. I’m getting a tuppence compared to him and I’ve got a harder fight in front of me. The money will come to me down the line but I’m doing it the hard way, that’s what I’m about.”
Mitchell says Khan has the far easier contest and added: “Malignaggi is made for him because he doesn’t punch. I’m doing it the hard way.”
Katsidis 29, who has been training for this fight in Bangkok, arrived in London on Tuesday after spending three months at a training camp in the Thai capital.
The rock solid Australian is renowned for being in tough grueling fights, and admits he doesn’t know much about Mitchell, but is always prepared for another war.
“I’ve seen bits and pieces of Kevin but I haven’t looked too hard at him. said Katsidis.
“I won’t be looking at him too much either because I win it every time if I’m 100 per cent on the night. I’m very confident. Every fight I’ve had has been a war and I can’t see this being any different.” he added.
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