Gianluca (Rio) di Caro – London
This Friday, WBO Inter-Continental lightweight champion Kevin Mitchell is set to face Spain-based Felix Lora in a non-championship bout at the famous York Hall in Bethnal Green, London. Mitchell, 27, returns to the ring for the first time since stopping John Murray in July last year at the Echo Arena in Liverpool and this fight is said to be a warm-up ahead of a challenge for Ricky Burns’ newly-acquired WBO lightweight crown.
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Kevin has his eyes set on Lora, Burns, world title defences and Rios. Credit: Gianluca (Rio) di Caro
With such an important bout waiting in the wings ‘Mighty’ Mitchell will surely be looking to impress in front his home crowd, in similar style to his utter destruction of arch rival John Murray last year. Earlier today, I caught up with Kevin at the pre-fight media workout at his home gym – the TRAD TKO Boxing Gym in Canning Town, London – to talk about the John Murray fight as well as the upcoming fight against Felix Lora and more.
Rio – Kevin, first things first… Congratulations, your magnificent battle with John Murray was named 2011 Fight of the Year by Boxing News and BoxRec; how do you feel about that?
Kevin – Thanks to the readers of Boxing News and BoxRec who voted for the fight. I’m so pleased that everyone enjoyed the fight, it’s always an honour to be recognised for achieving something [and] it was good to give my fans something to cheer for after the [Michael] Katsidis fight [Mitchell suffered a third round technical knockout loss].
Rio – The media as a whole showered accolades on you for your magnificent performance on the night, but how did you see the fight?
Kevin – I see it as a 50/50 fight. After the beating by Michael Katsidis I wanted to put the record right – I watched that fight again last night, Katsidis did his job, I weren’t right and I got beat. Everyone was saying Kevin’s finished, he got done in two rounds. Which wasn’t a bad thing as it made me push harder. As of 2012 I’m going to push even harder as I want a world title. Yeah, it was a terrific fight, but I always knew deep down that I’d beat him, I knew I’d be too much for him, too much difference, I can change things, I can fight, I can box, I can punch hard.
Rio – Okay, back to this Friday’s fight, even though it’s a non-championship bout I know just how seriously you have been taking your training, you were even in the gym over Christmas and New Year – So just how do you feel training has gone.
Kevin – It’s been going well, I’m bang on target for the fight this Friday. I feel fit, did most of my sparring with Colin Lynes after some earlier rounds with Gary Corcoran, got my fitness up and then sparred with Colin and an Italian guy here called Freddie [Federico Tavares] helped me out. Thanks to them, and of course Jimmy and Mark (Tibbs), I’m spot on for Friday.
The Mighty Mitchell rehearses punch routines with renowned trainer Jimmy Tibbs. Credit: Gianluca (Rio) di Caro
Rio – Do you know much about your opponent Felix Lora?
Kevin – He’s gonna be a tough guy for ten rounds, I know I’m able to put him away if I want to, but I’m not going in there and try and blast him out, I’m gonna go out there and get some rounds in, if I nail him I nail him but if I don’t it’ll be good to get the rounds in.
Rio – I know you never look past any opponent, but the word is that after this there’ll be a Summer showdown with Ricky Burns for his world title – what are your thoughts on this?
Kevin – I’ll beat Burns and then I’ll knock Brandon Rios out.
Rio – Rios has said that he’s moving up to light welter – are you that determined to fight him that you’ll move to light welter to fight him?
Kevin – Yeah, I’ll move up if I have to, I want to fight him. There’s a lot of needle there, he’s got a big mouth, he thinks he’s a powerful man. I don’t care if he goes up a weight. I’ll win the title at lightweight, defend it a few times and then I’ll go up to light welter and beat him up.
Rio – Sure is some needle there – okay, finally is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Kevin – Thanks to all the fans that are going to turn up at York Hall on Friday, I promise you all a cracking fight.
Kevin Mitchell versus Felix Lora headlines the sold out Frank Warren Promotions event at York Hall, Bethnal Green, London, on Friday, February 10 and broadcast live on BoxNation (Sky platform channel 456 & Virgin 546).
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