Dagenham-born Mitchell faces Mexican Daniel Estrada for the vacant WBC Silver lightweight and a guaranteed shot at Jorge Linares’ recently acquired WBC strap.
It promises to be a raucous occasion with a card stacked with local interest. Not least of all John Ryder’s defence of his recently acquired WBO Inter-Continental middleweight title against late replacement Billi Godoy.
Here we will take a look at what’s in store as we kick of a huge 2015 for British boxing.
Kevin Mitchell v Daniel Estrada (12 x 3 mins vacant WBC Silver Lightweight title)
Kevin Mitchell 38-2 (28KO’s) tops the bill in an interesting bout against former World title challenger Daniel Estrada 32-3 (24KO’s) for the right to face new WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
Since returning to Tony Sims, Mitchell is unbeaten in five and seems to have finally achieved an inner peace that has previously avoided him. With this mental stability we have seen a return of the composed fighter we see when Mitchell is at his best.
This trait will be crucial against Estrada who I don’t feel we have seen the best of just yet. When knocked out in 9 rounds by WBC champion in recess Omar Figueroa, he was subjected to non-stop pressure, which smothered a lot of his work and made him work harder than he would generally. Even so, he troubled Figueroa on a number of occasions and with space and time to work could prove a real handful.
The feeling in the Mitchell camp is the Mexican will tire as the fight wears on. Similar to Ghislain Maduma, whom Mitchell stopped in 11 rounds last time out. This is a dangerous tactic, especially considering Maduma was up on all three cards at the time of the stoppage in that fight.
Nevertheless, it’s a tactic Mitchell must commit to and the one that has given him the most success in his career, his victories over Breidis Prescott and Maduma in particular being examples of this.
I’m going for Mitchell to come from behind and win a close points decision over the Mexican who, accompanied by Juan Manuel Marquez, fancies the job and will give him all he can handle.
John Ryder v Billi Godoy (12 x 3 mins WBO Inter-Continental Middleweight title)
John Ryder 19-1 (11KO’s) continues his development against the experienced Argentine Billi Godoy 31-3 (15KO’s) a late replacement for Les Sherrington who had to withdraw injured.
On paper Godoy looks like a stiff test for the young Londoner, with victories over Carlos Baldomir and Matthew Macklin conqueror Jorge Sebastian Heiland. Fortunately, nothing is won on paper and it has to be noted that the Heiland victory was avenged by knockout and Baldomir was a shadow of his former self.
Since losing a close but fair decision to Billy Joe Saunders, southpaw Ryder has got back on track nicely with 4 straight victories.
I expect his aggressive and relentless style from the left-handed stance to cause Godoy endless problems when he is denied the space to work.
I’m picking Ryder by stoppage in the middle rounds.
John Wayne Hibbert v Tyler Goodjohn (10 x 3 mins WBC International Light Welterweight title)
John Wayne Hibbert 14-2 (8KO’s) faces Tyler Goodjohn 11-3 (4KO’s) in one of the two light welterweight grudge matches on show and a fight that promises to be a be a cracker.
Hibbert has looked impressive since losing a close points decision to the tough, now Commonwealth light-welterweight champion, Dave Ryan. This has not been lost on his enthusiastic followers, which has seen him sell more tickets than any other fighter on the show.
Goodjohn on the other hand is fresh off a career best victory when winning a points decision over the previously unbeaten Ricky Boylan over 10 rounds.
This is a difficult one to pick; both fighters are on an upward curve and with no love lost between the pair will meet each other head on. For me, Hibbert just edges this one on points after an absolute barnstormer.
Tommy Martin v Ricky Boylan (10 x 3 mins vacant English Light Welterweight title)
On show in the nights other light welterweight grudge match is unbeaten 20-year old Tommy Martin 10-0 (3KO’s) who faces a difficult contest against the talented Ricky Boylan 12-1 (4KO’s).
Martin who is coming off an impressive 7th round stoppage of Matty Tew at 2 weeks notice in October is in confident mood. Not least of all since his trainer Barry Smith, who formerly trained Boylan, is predicting a big win.
Ricky Boylan on the other hand enters the bout on the back of a disappointing defeat to Tyler Goodjohn in October. It felt like the real Ricky Boylan was not present that night, having changed trainers 3 weeks before fight night.
A settled camp this time out could be a telling factor in the result here, especially if Boylan can establish himself as the aggressor in the contest, which he did in successful patches against Goodjohn.
I’m picking Boylan here, via late stoppage or points decision.
Charlie Edwards VS Craig Derbyshire (4 x 3 mins Super Flyweight Contest)
Ohara Davies VS Lee Gibbons (6 x 3 mins Lightweight Contest)
Isaac Chamberlain VS Moses Matovu (4 x 3 mins Cruiserweight Contest)
Ben Hall VS Ryan Toms (6 x 3 mins Light Middleweight Contest)
Lee Markham VS Lewis Van Poetsch (6 x 3 mins Super Middleweight Contest)