Kevin Mitchell faces Jorge Linares for the WBC Lightweight title at The O2 in London on May 30– and one of Britain’s best loved actors Ray Winstone has lent his voice to Matchroom Boxing’s exclusive promo video.
Mitchell meets the Venezuelan for the famous green and gold strap on a huge night of boxing in London, with their clash one of three with World title on the line as Kell Brook defends his IBF World Welterweight strap against Frankie Gavin and Lee Selby challenges Evgeny Gradovich for the IBF Featherweight belt.
East London favourite Mitchell travels to Texas on Wednesday for a training camp with gym-mate and former foe Ricky Burns ahead of the Scotsman’s own Lightweight blockbuster with Omar Figueroa, and the 30 year old believes he will shine on May 30 and land the World title he has craved.
“This is the making of my career,” said Mitchell. “I will win this fight and create a legacy as an unbeaten World champion, just watch.
“He’s a three-weight World champion and a classy fighter – if you allow him to do what he wants to do. I believe I will shut him down, do what he doesn’t want me to do and I will knock him out.
“This is a fight that I thought I could win abroad so to get it in London in front of my fans is massive.
“I’ve matured, I feel secure with the team around me and I have left that party boy behind, I am enjoying it again.
“There’s excitement in me, Tony Sims is getting the best out of me as a result; it’s a good feeling. I know I am going to win this fight.”
World title bouts for Mitchell, Brook, Gavin and Selby are part of a massive night of boxing at The O2, with Olympic Heavyweight gold medal hero facing the toughest test of his pro career to date against former World title challenger Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson.
British light-middleweight boss Liam Smith edges ever closer to the major international titles.
The 26 year old Liverpudlian is now undefeated in 20 and holds world rankings with the IBF, WBA and WBO.
And the lad they call ‘Beefy’ will be looking to improve on his listing with the latter sanctioning crew when he debates their Inter-Continental strap against 22 year old Argentinean David Ezequiel Romero on the huge Echo Arena bill in his home city of Liverpool this Saturday, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/HD 490, Virgin 546, Talk Talk 525).
Remaining tickets are available from the Liverpool Echo Arena Box Office on 0844 8000 400 or echoarena.com and Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or eventim.co.uk
Speaking with boxing writer Glynn Evans, the poker faced Scouser, a serious student of the sport, casts his eye over the current crop of international belt holders.
Jack Culcay (reigning European champion): Culcay was world amateur champion and he was a very good amateur because he was a strong little bull who worked very hard. But I don’t rate him as a pro. I expected he’d be far better quality than he’s been.
When he unloads, he stays low and can throw very impressive six and seven shot volleys but then he eases off and goes for a walk. He doesn’t throw enough punches per round. He just fights in bursts and seems to model himself on other German based fighters like Arthur Abraham and Felix Sturm.
Culcay’s not the hardest to catch and I don’t think he takes the best shot. Isaac Real dropped him and I’ve seen him hurt other times.
I’d be very confident. His style is my ideal to fight. He’s not awkward and he doesn’t run away. I’m not sure Frank would risk sending me there but I even think I could beat him in Germany.
Cornelius ‘K9’ Bundrage (reigning IBF champion): I think ‘K9’ has to be the easiest route to a world title, the weakest of the four champions. I don’t rate him at all. Technically, he’s very poor. Look at still photos of him and his non punching hand dangles by his waist.
That said, he’s had several good wins over good fighters like Carlos Molina, (Zaurbek) Baysangurov, Cory Spinks twice, and Sechew Powell plus he’s a two time world champion. He must be better than he looks. He’s obviously very fit, super strong and he can bang a bit.
He uses his natural awkwardness to his advantage and, though he’s just 5ft 6 and I’m 5ft 9 ½ I guarantee he’s got a longer reach than me. His arms are crazy long.
The secret to beating Bundrage is to stay clever and outbox him, without running away. Keep it tidy; plenty of straight, sharp shots.
Demetrius Andrade (reigning WBO champion): Good fighter. Like Culcay, he was a world amateur gold medallist and he also went the Olympics.
He’s a slick, classy southpaw who seems to be getting better with every fight. Andrade’s got good variety and hits the body well. He’s also very big for 11stone; every fighter’s nightmare opponent, a 6ft 1in left hander.
He got dropped early doors against Vanes Martirosyan when he jumped in so you have to question how well he takes a shot but other than that there are no obvious faults.
He looked very impressive demolishing Brian Rose but Brian just stood in front of him and let him tee off. Your best bet against Andrade is to apply educated pressure and not fall into his traps. When I beat Romero for the WBO Intercontinental title I will be another step closer to him.
Erislandy Lara (reigning WBA champion): At his best, Lara is a very slick operator. He’s good with the jab and straight back hand. The Lara who dropped a contentious split decision to ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is a very hard man to fight. Probably because of the fear factor, he just didn’t stay still and used his jab to continually off set ‘Canelo’.
However, he lacks a bit of variety and can blow hot and cold. The Lara that fought Ishe Smith and Alfredo Angulo is very beatable. Angulo got to him with pressure and, against Ishe, Lara was plain lazy.
I’d place Lara and Andrade on a par. I’d love to see that fight. Lara can’t hurt you and I’d probably not invoke the fear factor which brings out the best in him. I could spring a surprise.
Floyd Mayweather Jnr. (reigning WBC champion): I’m a realist. He’d probably outclass me but I’m unlikely to get too badly hurt. You’d get easily the best dough so, of the four champions, Floyd’s the one I’d most like to face. It’d be a privilege to share a ring with a great and find out exactly how good he is.
Even up at light-middle, conceding natural weight and coming to the end of his brilliant career, he’s still the best of the champions. He knows how to win and is so good at adapting mid fight to whatever the opponent brings. He ruins people.
How do you beat him? You can’t. He’s still too good!
Liam Williams (reigning Commonwealth champion): Right now at British level, I think Liam is at about the stage that he should be at, for someone his age. He’s got a very good jab and clearly has a strong bond with Gary Lockett who ensures he stays disciplined. But he’s quite a way behind me at the minute.
Williams is probably ready for any of the rest who are behind me. I’d be surprised if he didn’t pick up the British once I choose to vacate.
I’ve always dreamed of having a big money domestic rival that could really heighten my profile. Down the line, me and Williams should be a pretty easy fight to make, what with us both being with Frank (Warren).
Argentine hitman David Ezequiel Romero says he’ll derail Liverpool star Liam Smith from his path to the world title.
Romero faces Smith with the Vacant WBO Intercontinental Light-Middleweight Championship on the line as chief-support to Derry Mathews’ clash against Ismael Barroso for the WBA Interim World Lightweight Championship, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
The 22-year-old from Bueno Aires is in top form after capturing the WBO Latino title with a seventh round stoppage of Luis Alejandro Tejerina only last month and intends on making Smith his next victim as he plans his own route to a world title.
Undefeated Smith, rated inside the top ten of three of the major governing bodies, is closing in on his dream world title shot and although he’s won his last four fights with stunning back-to-back stoppages, knows that Romero is risky fight.
“Right now I’m world rated by the WBO and my aim is to win the Intercontinental Title which would improve my ranking in the world and I’ll be closer to a World title shot, my dream since the first day I entered a boxing gym and nothing, not even Liam Smith, will distract me,” Said Romero
“Smith is a first class boxer but after watching his fights and spotting his mistakes I realise that I can be the first to beat him this Saturday night. The fight plan is all set but I will do all my talking with my fists inside the ring,”
“I’m a true warrior who never gives up and I always want to win. Even though I’m only 22 and have had less than 20 fights I’ve gained lots of experience against all kind of boxers and many times at short notice fighting against the promoter´s protegee. I’ve had some bad decisions but even though I lost them I’ve made it up with experience and Smith will underestimate me because of this. He’s in for a very dangerous and risky fight,”
“It motivates me because it’s the same situation as my last fight against Tejerina who was the big favourite in the fight, but finally I stopped him in the seventh round and won the WBO Latino title,”
“This is a great opportunity for me. I will be fighting for a major title against a top boxer in what will be my first international fight and I will be representing my country.”
Hard-hitting super-middleweights Frank Buglioni and Lee Markham collide in a potential thriller at the SSE Arena, Wembley, on Saturday May 9th
Enfield ace Buglioni makes the second defence of his WBO European crown against the all-action Essex banger on the undercard of the joint headlined show between Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jnr. in separate fights.
The showdown between Buglioni and Markham is expected to be a fiery affair with both fighters winning one apiece in the amateur ranks – Markham winning the last encounter – and taking their rivalry into the pros.
Buglioni has made a stunning return to form following his sole career loss to Sergey Khomitsky last year with a winning run of four fights and three big stoppages. In his last fight he blasted out Ivan Jukic inside one round to defend his title.
The 25-year-old has fought his way back into the top ten of the WBO rankings, regained the WBO European crown and is now firmly back on the road to a world title.
Markham is one of the most exciting 168lb fighters in the UK with 14 wins from 16 fights, seven knockouts and a five-time winner of versions of the British Masters title.
He was involved in a thrilling showdown with Jahmaine Smyle last month – that could be a contender for Fight of the Year because of the pulsating, toe-to-toe, battle both men put on – and lost on tight split decision.
Buglioni said, “This is a real grudge fight between Markham and me that had to happen,”
“Full credit to him for taking it, he’s wanted it for the last few years and now he’s got it, which he may regret. He’s a good all round fighter, he’s fit and strong and applies plenty of pressure, matched with my style, it’s bound to end up in a thriller for the fans,”
“Boxing is all about levels though and I know that I’m levels above him. I can outdo him in every department and better anything he brings. There’s only winner in this fight and that’s me, I’ll stop him.”
Markham, who has agreed terms to face Buglioni, replied, “I can’t wait to fight Buglioini, I’ve never been so up for a fight like this one,”
“With us coming from rival towns, plus plenty of professional rivalry and needle thrown in as well, seeing as I defeated him in the amateurs last, it’s going to be a cracking fight,”
“Buglioni’s done well to get himself back up there after his loss, but I’m going to have bring him crumbling back down again. We’ve both got aggressive, come forward, styles, he can bang, I can bang, it won’t be going the distance.”
GCP’s Murderous Puncher Ismael Barroso to Fight for Interim WBA World Lightweight Championship Next Week
Greg Cohen Promotions proudly announces that on Saturday, April 18, unbeaten southpaw slugger Ismael Barroso (17-0-2, 16 KOs) will face UK veteran Derry Matthews (37-9-2, 20 KOs) for the Interim WBA Lightweight Championship.
The pair will meet at the Echo Arena in Matthews’ hometown of Liverpool, England, as the main event of a night of boxing presented by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.
31-year-old Barroso, one of the hardest punchers in the division, hails from El Tigre, Venezuela, and was last seen making his American television debut with an impressive TKO over Issouf Kinda. The eye-opening victory won Barroso the NABO and NABA Lightweight Championships.
The fight against Matthews is being mandated by the WBA because of an ongoing illness to current champion Richar Abril that has rendered him unable to train. Abril will still be the “Champion in Recess.”
31-year-old Matthews has held a slew of European titles in his 12-year career. He will enjoy a distinct advantage in experience over the cement-fisted South American.
“I am very excited Ismael is getting this opportunity and despite the short notice, he is a tireless worker in the gym and will be more than ready. He is eager to join Jorge Linares as a Venezuelan Lightweight World Champion,” said Greg Cohen. “Matthews is a good fighter, but there are really no answers to a fighter who can hit as hard as Barroso. GCP will have another world champion in its roster after Saturday night.”