Nothing has ever been handed to undefeated world lightweight contender Ghislain “Mani” Maduma (16-0, 10 KOs). Unable to get a world title shot, the Congo-born, Montreal fighter is forcing the issue, fighting “Mighty” Kevin Mitchell (37-2, 27 KOs) in his backyard on May 31 in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) title eliminator, on the Matchroom Boxing-promoted Carl Froch-George Groves card at famed Wembley Stadium in London.
Londoner meets Canadian on May 31 in IBF final eliminator
Kevin Mitchell will face Ghislain Maduma in a final eliminator for the IBF Lightweight title at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on May 31, live on Sky Sports Box Office in association with Betway.
Mitchell is gunning for a second World title tilt after facing Ricky Burns for the WBO belt in September 2012, and has since bounced back into form with four wins, three inside the distance and landing the IBF Inter-Continental crown in the process.
Lightweight Kevin Mitchell (33-2, 24 KO’s) will be fighting this Saturday night against little known Sebastien Benito (10-6, 3 KO’s) in a scheduled 10 round bout at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, UK.
By JOHN WIGHT: After his most recent devastating performance against London’s Kevin Mitchell in front of 10,000 fans at the SECC in Glasgow, it would be a great disservice to Ricky Burns to continue to describe or refer to him as a great ‘Scottish’ fighter. He has now proved beyond doubt that he is a great fighter, period, deserving of being considered elite level and more than a match for any lightweight anywhere.
His fourth round stoppage of the hard punching Mitchell, who in the run up to the fight had appeared confident of taking Burns’ WBO title, would have come as a godsend to the bookmakers, what with the bulk of the smart money opting for a points win for the Coatbridge fighter, with perhaps a sneaky wager on Mitchell by KO. This writer asserts the right to boast of betting on the stoppage by Burns. However, this does not so much reflect any great talent to pick bets on my part as it does the fact that Burns is one of the few champions in the sport who improves year on year and relishes fighting the best that’s out there, rather than remain content to stay in any kind of comfort zone in order to hang on to his belt as long as possible.
Dropping Mitchell with a sweet left hook that landed flush on the Dagenham man’s jaw in the 4th, 29-year-old Burns proved that he can bang. Dropping a badly stunned but full of heart Mitchell for a second time when a series of rights clubbed the 27-year-old headfirst to the mat, Burns then poured it on as Mitchell, trying to fight back, was stuck on the ropes and in bad shape. The referee, Terry O’Connor, really was left with no choice but to dive in, halting the exciting rumble at the 2-minutes and 59-seconds mark of the 4th.
Now 35-2(10), Burns seemingly has the world at his feet. His right hand looking strong, accurate and powerful, the always immaculately conditioned Coatbridge warrior sure looked like one of the best 135-pounders in all of boxing tonight. Mitchell came to fight, and he won the opening session as the defending champ looked a little tense. There was also some thrilling trading in the 2nd and 3rd-rounds, temporarily letting fans believe they would get the classic war they had both anticipated and hoped for. In the end though, we were treated instead to a classic performance; possibly one that will allow Burns to win 2012’s FOTY award.