Kevin Mitchell To Fulfill His Potential On May 30th
It has been a long, windy road, full of ups and downs, but next month I fully believe ‘The Hammer’ will fulfill his destiny of becoming the world champion.
“The harder the battle, the sweeter the victory”
Perhaps an anecdote was never so befitting and succinct than for a sport such as boxing. The adversity and complexity of the journey a boxer must overcome to reach the ultimate goal of becoming a world champion, is something mere mortals like ourselves could only imagine.
Kevin ‘The Hammer’ Mitchell from London’s East end has had his fair share of obstacles along his journey, but on May 30th at London’s 02 Arena he will stand upon the precipice of his life’s work, when he challenges Venezuelan WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
The Londoner will have an opportunity to not only capture the apex prize in his chosen profession, but also the chance to erase the trials and tribulations of the past, through his god given talent with his fists.
“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”
A phrase coined perhaps most famously by former Manchester United football captain Roy Keane. Indeed it rings true in all sports and perhaps none more so than boxing.
In a game where slacking off even 1% for a moment in training, could have violent consequences to your health, preparation is absolutely paramount. Again, average Joe’s like myself and fellow boxing fans, could only imagine this rare breed of super human dedication.
But it appears that Kevin Mitchell has really gotten back on the horse again in recent years, with a new found maturity accompanying his likable ‘cheeky chappy’ demeanour that he’s known for.
He seems to be taking boxing as serious as ever, under the watchful eye of current trainer Tony Simms. His ripped physique against Daniel Estrada back in January was testimant to this.
Now, as he prepares for his second crack at a world title, he’s been abroad preparing with top class fighters including former foe Ricky Burns (below). He’ll be undoubtedly be prepared for Linares.
“Form is temporary, class is permanent”
Linares is an excellent champion, who’ll be coming into the fight in red hot form, coming off the back of a sizable string of wins that includes quite a few knockouts to boot.
However, I honestly think he’ll be suited down to the ground for Mitchell from a style perspective though. Kevin has dealt with South American fighters very well in his career.
In his last fight against Estrada, I remember been in Dublin for the weekend visiting friends and unable to catch the fight live, but receiving a very enthusiastic phone call (while in a pub) from a friend of mine in Cork, who’s also a well known boxing trainer in the area.
He said, “Niall, are you watching this Mitchell masterclass? Its unbelievable stuff”.
I almost sobered up straight away. I knew instinctively from one boxing nut to another and by the tone of his voice, what he meant.
I had told this particular chap for years of the belief I had in the Mitchell skill set.
When the Londoner is on his game I had always told him that Mitchell in my opinion, was one of the best technical boxer-punchers to come out of Western Europe of his generation – when he wants to be.
I quickly watched back the highlights the next morning and the performance I soaked in reminded me of the unmatchable skills he put on display against Bredis Prescott and John Murray.
Arguably, it was Kevin’s best performance of his career.
A few years back, we travelled over to West Ham from Ireland a few years when he lost to Katsidis, but after watching the Estrada fight, the old saying “Form is temporary, class is permanent” rang through in my head.
I’ve never really cared about other people’s opinions to much, I guess that’s just the way I am. I just like to go after the truth in life generally, the facts of situations and in business, the numbers in a given situation.
I won’t be convinced by anyone that Kevin Mitchell on his day, is not one of the best technical boxer-punchers of his generation, when he performs at his best.
That might sound a little crazy to some, but that’s just how I feel and what I believe.
On May 30th he’ll prove me right again, but more importantly, prove himself right and all his loyal fans who’ve stuck by him over the years and never lost the faith.
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