Mitchell ‘must beat Mexican’

John Ryder, Tony Sims, Kevin Mitchell and Ohara Davies face the camera ahead of the big January 31 s

John Ryder, Tony Sims, Kevin Mitchell and Ohara Davies face the camera ahead of the big January 31 show at the O2 Arena - Credit: Archant

Former Hammer’s hopes rest on Estrada clash

Fight for Peace youngster Haris Najeeb celebrates his win in the ABA youth championships at West Ham

Fight for Peace youngster Haris Najeeb celebrates his win in the ABA youth championships at West Ham - Credit: Archant

Former West Ham amateur Kevin Mitchell knows his fighting future hangs on the outcome of his bout with Daniel Estrada at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday.

Mitchell, 30, meets the Mexican in a top-of-the-bill contest for the vacant WBC Silver lightweight title, with victory in the world title eliminator absolutely vital.

Having suffered his only two losses in world title showdowns, Mitchell acknowledges this is his last chance of earning a third shot at a global belt.

He said: “Estrada is a tough Mexican, but it’s a fight I just have to win.”

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Estrada is undaunted by the challenge, though, and is looking to win by a knockout to silence Mitchell’s army of fans.

He said: “In a fight all that matters are the two boxers in the ring, if people chant things it doesn’t intimidate me.

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“I’m not scared of fighting in Mitchell’s home town in front of his fans. We know we need to take the fight to him, that’s my plan, look for the knockout. I don’t want to leave it in the hands of the judges.

“I’m in the best shape of my life. I have lots of experience and I’ve had difficult opponents, even if Mitchell has had more fights than me. I feel this fight is at the right time for me.”

The contest is part of Eddie Hearn’s big show at The O2 involving WBO Inter-Continental middleweight champion John Ryder and unbeaten lightweight Ohara Davies, two fighters training with Mitchell in the camp of trainer Tony Sims.

Also on the bill are unbeaten light-middleweight prospect Ben Hall and new pro Charlie Edwards.

Light-welterweight rivals John Wayne Hibbert and Tyler Goodjohn meet for the WBC International strap and Tommy Martin and Ricky Boylan square up for the vacant English title.

Tickets for the 02 show are available from 07946 383318.

Canning Town campaigner George Hillyard is featured in a 10-round contest on a Malta Boxing Commission show under the Batt Promotions banner as boxing returns to York Hall on Friday.

Hillyard faces Czech journeyman Michal Voskya on a show which also features Aussie heavyweight Pierre Karam, unbeaten lightweight Antonio Counihan and undefeated brothers Onder and Siar Ozgul.

There will be a clash between local rivals to decide the final of the NE London 60kg Youth title at Lewisham on Friday when Owen McGroary (Newham) faces West Ham’s Paddy McCarthy.

Both earned good wins in their qualifying contests at the West Ham gym last week when McGroary eliminated Saif Ahmed (Broad Street).

McCarthy showed winning form against Fairbairn’s Laiq Khan to take the verdict in his semi-final and now meets Tony Buttigieg (Lansbury) at the TA Centre in Lewisham.

Fight for Peace youngster Haris Najeeb, 17, competed in the NE London 56kg semi-finals and dominated Regan Boughton, who was retired by his corner.

The NE winners progress to the London semi-finals at the TA Centre on Saturday followed by the finals a day later.

West Ham’s multi-titled Viddal Riley looks set to take the London 81kg award without opposition.

n Peacock light-heavyweight John Barnard opened his 2015 campaign in explosive form when halting home club boxer Tommy Mead in two rounds on the Bromley show on Saturday, after his rival took three standing counts.

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