By Terence Dooley
Kevin Mitchell, 33-1 (24), will challenge Ricky Burns, 34-2 (9), for the WBO lightweight title in Glasgow live on BoxNation on September 22. Mitchell had hoped to vie for Burns's belt on the undercard of David Haye versus Dereck Chisora at Upton Park on July 14, but will now have to travel to Burns's home turf for the eagerly awaited clash between two of Britain's best lightweights.
A venue is still being worked on for the contest, but Coatbridge's Burns is excited about the battle in prospect. "The fight's been on the boil for the last couple of years and the fans and press have been desperate for it to happen, it's fantastic that it's on at last," said the 29-year-old when announcing the bout on www.frankwarren.com .
"We are both at the top of our game now and I'm in this sport to prove that I'm the best, next to me Mitchell's the best around and it will be great fight between two warriors. He put on a great showing against John Murray last year that showed just how good a boxer he is to take apart another champion. But this fight is the fight I've wanted and it's got me really excited, Mitchell's going to bring out the best in me and I believe that the fans are going to be in for an unbelievable fight.”
Dagenham's Mitchell is equally excited, promising to use the sharpness he picked up when going 10-rounds with Felix Lora in February to help him unseat the Scottish titlist. "I’m promising you now you’re going to see the best fight of the year or any year," said Mitchell.
"This is a real fight between the two best in the division and it’s not going to be for the faint-hearted. I rate Burns very highly; he’s a great fighter and has really proved himself as one of the top champions in the world. I'm going into the lions den and I know I can beat him and take the world title. Burns is a top kid and I’ve got to be at top of my game, the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been in my life to win."
"This is the big one," said Warren when confirming the clash on his website. “It’s the fight the fans have been waiting for and I’m delighted to say that it’s now finally on. There is plenty of pride on the line with both men and neither will want to lose. What a fight to start the autumn schedule with live on BoxNation and we’re also announcing details shortly of WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly’s next title defence.”
Mitchell's only defeat came against Michael Katsidis in three-rounds in May 2010; Burns beat Katsidis on ponits last November and looked solid when decisioning Paulus Moses in March; the two lightweights are likely to produce a war come September as both bid to show that they are far and away yhr best 135lber in the U.K.
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