By Marcus Richardson: WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns (34-2, 9 KO’s) defends his title next month against #1 WBO Kevin Mitchell (33-1, 24 KO’s) on September 22nd in Glasgow, Scotland. On paper, this fight appears to be pretty evenly matched between two good but far from great lightweights. However, this could turn out to be a blowout if Burns comes in as the much heavier fighter. Burns has looked huge after rehydrating for his last two fights against Michael Katsidis and Paulus Moses, and Mitchell is a small lightweight in terms of frame.
The size factor could be enough for Burns to easily win this one as long as he handle the movement and in and out attacks from the 27-year-old Mitchell.
Beyond the size issue for the fight, Mitchell hasn’t been all that active a fighter since suffering a loss to Katsidis in 2010. Mitchell was blown out in the 3rd round by Katsidis in that fight, and while we’ve the excuses that Mitchell made after the fight about being being fully prepared, the fact remains that was easily beaten by a guy that in turn was beaten by Burns. Katsidis has fought only twice since then, beating John Murray and Felix Lora. But it’s not a good sign to see Mitchell not being active going into an important fight against Burns.
Mitchell has been given a very generous ranking by the World Boxing Organization despite having fought so seldom. The ranking likely has nothing to do with the fight being made, though, because it still probably have gotten made even if Mitchell wasn’t ranked at all because it’s a fight that will make money in the UK.
It’s hard to tell how good Burns is because he’s never really faced anyone that you could call a good fighter other than Ramon Martinez. Burns won that fight, but he’s not faced anyone of real quality since then. He almost was about to fight Adrien Broner in 2011 but Burns gave up his WBO super featherweight belt and moved up in weight before the fight could happen. Apparently, Burns was having problems making weight for the super featherweight division.