Kevin Mitchell Relishes Johanneson Challenge

Sports Network will kick off the New Year with a bang when Kevin Mitchell challenges British Super Featherweight Champion Carl Johanneson at Bethnal Green's York Hall on January 12. One of British boxing's hottest talents, Mighty Mitchell is determined to add a Lonsdale belt to his Commonwealth crown - and says he will be too quick and too powerful for the champion..

And Mitchell's claim has come despite Johanneson winning the Lonsdale belt outright on Friday night in Doncaster when he rode out a storm to halt Michael Gomez in six brutal rounds.

" I watched the fight on television, and Johanneson is exciting to watch, I'll give him that," said 22-year-old Mitchell, who boasts a 24-0 (17) record.

" But he'll be too slow for me. I'll box him at range and sooner or later I'll catch him with one of my left hooks and knock him out. He won't see my combinations coming.

" His hands aren't that fast while mine are like lightning. I work with quick guys in sparring, and although Johanneson has got a good punch, you can't hit what you can't see."

Mitchell will enjoy home advantage for the fight, and says it has been his lifetime's ambition to win the coveted British title at the home of boxing.

" Everyone is talking about the fight already, and it's still 12 weeks away," said Mitchell.

" York Hall is going to be absolutely rammed, and the atmosphere will be electric.

" I'm going to have to sacrifice my Christmas because of the Johanneson fight, but it will be worth it when I lift the British title.

" When I was growing up and boxing for West Ham in the amateurs, I always dreamed about following in the footsteps of some of my heroes and fighting for a British title at York Hall.

" I've already topped the bill there, but fighting for a Lonsdale belt will be something else.

" And let's face it, if I can't beat the current British champion, then I might as well pack it in. I want to win world titles at three different weights, so this fight is definitely a stepping stone to greater things."

Promoter Frank Warren added: "Fight fans have got an early Christmas present with Amir Khan fighting Graham Earl, and a late one with Mitchell tackling Johanneson.

" This a big test for Kevin, and his chance to make a big statement. He is one of the most talented fighters in the country, and he'll need all that talent to beat Johanneson, but I'm confident he will come through and then go on and establish himself as a world champion."

Johanneson, 29, boasts a 27-3 (19) record and has built a reputation for being one of the biggest punchers in Britain. He has also challenged for the European title.

Tickets are available from Sports Network Box Office 01992 550 888.

Article posted on 22.10.2007

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