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Mitchell: I can be world champion

PUBLISHED: 13:22 04 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:22 04 February 2015

Kevin Mitchell hits out against Daniel Estrada at the O2 Arena (pic: Lawrence Lustig)

Kevin Mitchell hits out against Daniel Estrada at the O2 Arena (pic: Lawrence Lustig)

LAWRENCE LUSTIG

Former Hammer confident of global success

Kevin Mitchell has been knocking on the world title door for years - and that door opened wide after his eighth round win over tough Mexican Daniel Estrada at the 02 Arena.

Mitchell had suffered world title defeats against Michael Katsidis and Ricky Burns in the past, but will get a crack at WBO champion Jorge Linares after beating Estrada in their final eliminator.

“I’m unstoppable, I can take the world title this summer,” said former West Ham amateur Mitchell, while promoter Eddie Hearn vowed to get him his chance this year.

“He’s the number one challenger to Linares and we want that shot,” said Hearn.

“There’s not many lightweights in the world that can compete with him. I’d be devastated if we didn’t see him lift the world title.”

Mitchell’s East London trainer Tony Sims agreed the fighter has settled down inside and outside the ring.

“Kevin’s had problems throughout his career, with ups and downs in his life,” he said.

“But he’s back in love with the sport and definitely world title material.

“I’ve told him all along that all he’s got to do is get in shape and work hard in the gym. He proved it against Estrada.”

Mitchell supplied the proof on Saturday when he halted Estrada in eight rounds - quicker than world champion Omar Figueroa managed in their title fight last August, which was Estrada’s first defeat in four years.

Many rated Mitchell’s display against Estrada ‘punch perfect’ as he dismantled a durable world-rated rival in superb style.

Accurate jabs, follow up hooks and uppercuts all found their way through Estrada’s defences as he gamely marched forward.

Estrada merely walked into trouble as Mitchell’s lethal left hook dumped him on the floor in the third round.

The Mexican climbed up after a long count, but was shaken again before the end of the round by more damaging shots.

Mitchell’s fans roared their appreciation as he continued to launch the effective attacks, leaving the Mexican battered and bruised before the eighth - and last round.

He finished things with a a six-punch combination followed by another powerful uppercut that convinced referee Ian John-Lewis to end an outstanding display and Estrada was certainly not complaining as Mitchell celebrated his latest and greatest victory.

n Tommy Martin imagined winning the English light-welterweight title as he spent lonely nights in his Newham digs during the build-up for the fight.

That dream came true before 8,000 fans at the 02 Arena on Saturday as he outpointed Morden rival Ricky Boylan.

Martin, 20, comes from Cambridge, but lives in Custom House when training for his fights and produced his best display to win 97-93, 97-93, 99-92.

He made it made it 11 straight wins against a powerful rival despite suffering a hand injury and said: “I just had to win that title for my manager Johnny Eames and trainer Barry Smith.”

n Former West Ham amateurs, brothers Paul and Sonny Upton, look to continue their professional progress when they appear on promoter Mick Helliet’s bill at the Park Lane Hotel tomorrow (Thursday).

Unbeaten light-middle Paul Upton faces Aaron Robinson from Lincoln, while middleweight Sonny faces Cardiff’s Gareth Piper.

***

The London Youth semi-finals proved a graveyard for Newham hopes at Lewisham on Sunday as West Ham duo Paddy McCarthy and Jake Gibson made exits along with Fight for Peace entry Haris Najeeb.

Gibson looked the most unfortunate when most thought he had beaten Taylor Ayling (Earlsfield) in the 64kg semi-final – even Ayling sportingly lifted the Hammer’s arm after taking the disputed decision.

McCarthy’s semi-final hopes were ended after a keenly contested clash with Nemesis rival Elliot Whale.

The Hammers pair had earned NE London titles the previous day when McCarthy outpointed Newham’s Owen McGroary while Gibson eliminated Tony Buttigieg (Lansbury).

Hammers still have hopes of success with 81kg entry Viddal Riley through on a walkover.

Najeeb, 17, took the 56kg NE London award when he outpointed Broad Street rival Mo Thaimin.

But he faced the more experienced Islington rival Tyrane Wynter the next day and dropped a split decision in their London semi.


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