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Mitchell ‘ready for a world title fight’ after facing Estrada

30
Jan

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British lightweight contender Kevin Mitchell has been stopped in both of his losses, the second one coming by fourth round technical knockout in September 2012 against Ricky Burns in a failed bid to earn the WBO’s title.

“That journey is what makes a fighter. It would be easy for me to call it a day and get a job. I don’t want to do that. I want to fight and win a world title. That’s not easy. It’s not easy being in the gym, putting your body through a camp, sparring these young and hungry lads when I am 30,” said Mitchell.

“It’s not easy but I love it. Not winning a world title would be a massive regret. My trainer, Tony Sims has said to me that if I don’t win a world title, it would be unbelievable. I am heavy-handed. I am talented. I work hard. I have had my ups and downs but right now is my time to make sure that I don’t have to live with that regret.”

But Mitchell (38-2, 28 knockouts) appears to have been rejuvenated since falling to Burns, having won five straight fights, the past four by stoppage, entering Saturday’s clash with Daniel Estrada (32-3-1, 24 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London.

“I have been fighting now for 20 years and my dream has always been to be a world champion. Now is the time for that shot at the title. I am mature now. I have no longer got any boyish ways about me and I am ready for that title. Time is running out. I have 40 fights. I am nearly 30. This is my last shot. If I can get that world title, then I might have another three or four more years left in the game to make some serious money and call it a day,” said Mitchell.

“But right now, it’s make-or-break for me, I know that and that’s what makes it more interesting. If I can’t beat this kid, I might as well go and get a day job. If I lose this, there won’t be much more left in the sport for me. So it’s 100 percent a fight I have to win and I really do fancy myself to beat him. My maturity of mind will be a strong asset for me.”

There may yet be hope for Mitchell, who could be in line for a shot at WBC beltholder Jorge Linares if he gets beyond Estrada, 29. Estrada was last in the ring for a ninth-round knockout loss to then-WBC titleholder Omar Figueroa Jr. in August, ending a nine-fight winning streak that had included five knockouts.

In the wake of the injured Figueroa being stripped and declared a “champion in recess” by the WBC, Linares, a former featherweight and junior lightweight titleholder, knocked out Javier Prieto for the vacant 135-pound belt last month.

“I am ready now; I am mature enough and man enough for them now. Before, I don’t think that I was; now I know I am. It’s the last straw and that’s what is making even hungrier for it. I am at my peak now, based on my maturity and experience,” said Mitchell, who believes he could beat Linares by knockout.

“I should have been a world champion years ago and I should be made for life now. But things happen in your life and career. That’s what makes the story of a fighter. I wouldn’t change the way my life has gone one bit. I messed up when I was young, had a few problems at home, made comebacks, got beaten by Ricky for a world title, came back again.”

Mitchell is coming off an 11th round stoppage over previously unbeaten Ghislain Maduma in May.

“Ghislain Maduma is probably the best opponent I have been in with,” said Mitchell, who was also stopped by Michael Katsidis in the third round in May 2010. “He was tricky with heavy, fast hands and I took him apart. I am at the stage now that I am ready for a world title fight.”

 

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