News December 2013

Mitchell says he will fight Coyle, Vazquez and Burns in 2014


By @shaun_brown

For want of a better word, Kevin Mitchell (35-2, 25 KOs) was "buzzing" when he spoke to Live Fight ahead of his IBF Inter-Continental title fight against Karim El Ouazghari (15-3-2, 4 KOs), a late change of opponent, on Saturday night at Londonís Excel Arena live on Sky Sports.

Mitchell, who turns 30 next year has had the definition of a roller-coaster career since his professional bow in 2003. The highs of defeating the likes of Carl Johanneson (for the British and Commonwealth super featherweight titles in 2008), Breidis Prescott (a classy 12-round shut-out in 2009) and John Murray (a 2011 British fight of the year) have been quickly put to the back of peopleís memories. Issues outside the sport, promotional differences with Frank Warren and interim and world title defeats to Michael Katsidis and Ricky Burns, respectively, have left fans wondering how many more chances the Londoner will get at the top.

Now, with the backing of Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sports and the return to working with trainer Tony Sims, this year has seen Mitchell on the edge of turning another corner in his career.

ďIíve had ten years as a pro and Iíve now got a new lease of life which is a big deal for me,Ē Mitchell told Live Fight after todayís final press conference.

ďThe year I had has saw Burns stop me in four rounds and basically do a job on me. But I picked myself back up, began working with Tony Sims whoís got me in great shape. Iíve had two fights back to back and I think that even now Iím improving. Iím better with better opponents and in 2014 Iím going to show that.Ē

While the clichť of ďone fight at a timeĒ is always on the tip of a fighterís tongue, Mitchell has clear goals for next year.

ďIíll be fighting Tommy Coyle for a world title eliminator then Iíll be fighting [Miguel] Vazquez in a [IBF] world title fight in the summer all going well. Iíll keep boxing well, keep injury free and keep doing all the good things that Iíve been doing lately.Ē

And with those two differing obstacles out of the way, Mitchell is keen to make amends for the loss to friend and rival, Ricky Burns, from earlier this year. And when Live Fight mentioned the word ďunification fightĒ in 2014, Mitchell was all over it.

ďThatíll happen at the, 100%, definitely. Weíll fill out a football ground next year and that will definitely be on.Ē

Whether it be talking to Mitchell in person or on the phone, itís easy to feel that once again his enthusiasm for boxing has returned. New goals, new team, new Kevin Mitchell.

"Itís the best Iíve ever felt because basically Iím working in a better environment, Iím 29 years of age and when I fought for the world titles I wasnít as mature as I am now. Iím happy because of the team Iíve got around me now. And Tony Sims is putting so much hard work into me that itís making me feel very confident in myself. I feel very secure with a strong stable as well.

"Working with the whole Matchroom team is a real pleasure, Eddieís a lovely man because even though Iím working with him heís like a mate of mine. All the lads in the team right through to all the people in the office are all good people and itís put a fresh lease of life in me.Ē

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