Kevin Mitchell and Ricky Burns have enjoyed their first few days of sparring ahead of big fights in July.
Mitchell meets John Murray for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Intercontinental lightweight title on July 9 at London’s ExCeL Arena.
And just a week later Burns tackles Nicky Cook at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
They’ve been getting in shape with some quality rounds at the TKO gym in London.
Ironically, the pair were due to meet for the British super-featherweight title a few years ago.
That fight never happened – but judging by this week, it would have been ferocious.
“Sparring has been fantastic,” said Mitchell.
“Ricky’s a quality world champion and he’s been very, very sharp.
“It’s hard to believe that his fight is more than six weeks ago because he looks ready to go right now.
“It’s great for me because I’ve been out of action since my fight against Michael Katsidis, but sparring with Ricky is just like having proper rounds.”
Burns added: “I’m really looking forward to Murray and Mitchell, and it’s hard to pick a winner right now.
“Kevin impressed me over the last few days, and you would not have known he hasn’t fought for a year.
“He’s quick and he hits hard, and I can tell that he has got his hunger back.
“Neither of us were holding back in there, and if anyone thinks Mitchell has been badly affected by the loss to Katsidis, they should think again.
“It’s one of the toughest spars I’ve had, and I’ve moved around with the likes of Scott Harrison and Alex Arthur.”
Olympian Alexis Vila signs with Bellator
Just months after he pleaded for a chance to face the best fighters in the world, 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Alexis “The Exorcist” Vila has signed a promotional deal with Bellator Fighting Championships.
Vila now possesses an impressive 9-0 record, including eight dominant stoppage victories. Most recently, Vila smashed his way through Lewis McKenzie at MFA 4 in Miami, and the Bellator brass took notice, as they offered him a multi-fight deal shortly thereafter.
Currently ranked No. 3 in the flyweight division, Vila is ready to prove that he can not only dominate the 125-pound division, but that he is also a force to be reckoned with at 135 pounds as well.
“I want to be the Bantamweight Champion of the World and Bellator is going to provide me with the outlet to do that,” Vila stated simply.
The biggest question mark in the dominant career for Vila thus far has been the level of his opposition, but very few top fighters are itching to face a dominant grappler and former world champion with Vila’s pedigree outside of a top organization. Now, Vila will have his chance to prove that his undefeated record is not a fluke.
“I am very excited about this next step in my career to prove myself as a bantamweight under Bellator,” Vila said. “They are great promotion with the ability to match me with some of the best fighters in the world.”
Vila’s career has taken off since he began training at the world-renowned American Top Team gym in Florida, as he is now amongst some of the best fighters in the world on a daily basis, including friend and current Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard.
“To be able to fight in the same promotion where greats like Hector Lombard have fought- now that is an accomplishment,” Vila said.
GEORGIA BOXING CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE BUCKHEAD THEATRE ON 7/15
ATLANTA – Sports Fan Properties & Shea Bailey Promotions is proud to announce that the Buckhead Theatre will serve as the host venue for the next installment of the Georgia Boxing Championship, which is set to take place on July 15, 2011. The Georgia Boxing Championship is a Vegas-style professional boxing series that features the best pro boxers from Georgia and around the Southeast and is presented by Tecate, Chevrolet, 680 The Fan & Xfinity.
Following a two-year, $6 million renovation, the Buckhead Theatre (formerly The Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre) re-opened in July of 2010 with an array of functional and cosmetic improvements that increase flexibility for a variety of events. “In addition to being a concert and live performance venue we hold several private events at the theatre,” the Executive Director of Novare Events Myrna Antar said. “Our goal is to make the theatre a venue for all types of entertainment and an asset to the community.”
The 8,000 square-foot main theatre room has a capacity of more than 1,200 and will provide boxing fans with an intimate and unique setting unlike any other in professional boxing. Nestled in the heart of Buckhead, the Theatre is at the center of some of the city’s most diverse and exciting nightlife. Due to its unique location, fight fans will have the opportunity to experience Atlanta’s finest shopping boutiques and hippest nightclubs before and after the event. “We are very excited about bringing the GBC to Buckhead. A recent survey from our past two sold-out shows indicated that more than 50% of our attendees live north of downtown. The Buckhead Theatre and the surrounding area is a perfect setting for our Vegas-style event” said Greg Barckhoff, Managing Partner of Sports Fan Properties.
Tickets for the Georgia Boxing Championship will go on sale to the general public at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 3rd.
Visit GeorgiaBoxingChampionship.com or become a Fan of the Georgia Boxing Championship on Facebook for more information.
$100 – Front Row, $75 – Ringside, $50 – Balcony, $40 – Preferred, $25 – Standing Room Only
Six (6) to eight (8) pro bouts to be announced, please visit the website for the most up to date bout card.