by James Slater – According to a couple of sources (Frank Warren’s website and British Boxing News magazine), unbeaten super-featherweight contender Kevin Mitchell will take a leaf out of Amir Khan’s book and start working with ace trainer Freddie Roach soon.
Reportedly, Mitchell – the British 130-pound champion – met with Roach at the recent Khan-Kotelnik fight in Manchester, and the two will begin working together at Freddie’s famous Wild Card gym in LA soon.. And though 24-year-old Mitchell, 29-0(22) is not in need of the career turnaround Khan was when the light-welterweight hooked up with Roach, all will agree that with Freddie’s wisdom and ability helping him Mitchell can only improve as a fighter.
Previously trained by Paul Cook (maybe the two will continue to work together?), the all-action Mitchell is looking ahead towards a shot at WBO champion Roman Martinez of Puerto Rico. Can Roach formulate a plan that will turn “The Dagenham Destroyer” into a world ruler?
A pro since July of 2003, Mitchell has made fast progress – despite a hand injury that served to keep him out of the ring for almost a year (Mitchell has had two fights since returning).
Also capturing the Commonwealth crown to go alongside his accomplishment of winning the British title, the possible star of the future has provided thrills and spills as well as looking a class act. But against undefeated Martinez, 22-0-1(13) – the man who destroyed Brit Nicky Cook in just four rounds to take the vacant WBO strap back in March – Mitchell will be in tough.
Martinez made a real name for himself on British shores by dismantling the usually durable “Cookie,” and the 26-year-old displayed a dangerous blend of hand speed and punching power. Mitchell is the official WBO number-one contender, and the fight will have to happen before too long. In any case, we want to see the Puerto Rican known as “Rocky” back in action as soon as possible anyway – to find out if he really is as good as he looked in March.
But the longer Mitchell gets to work with Roach before the fight, the better. Still in need of some polish and a better defence, the 24-year-old will surely be taught both by Freddie.
Mitchell last fought on the 18th of this month, when he stopped Rudy Encarnaccion in eight rounds on the Khan-Kotelnik bill, and he is no doubt feeling excited about heading to LA to begin working with one of the very best trainers in boxing today.