By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
KEVIN MITCHELL is right back in the world title mix after fighting his way out of the depths of despair.
The Londoner faces Ghislain Maduma in a final eliminator for the IBF world lightweight title at Wembley Stadium on May 31 on the undercard of the Carl Froch v George Groves bill.
And promoter Eddie Hearn believes his return to the world title scene is an illustration of the 29-year-old's battling spirit.
Victory over Canadian Maduma will earn Mitchell a crack at IBF champion Miguel Vazquez and that would crown a marvellous comeback.
Mitchell hit a real low after his third round defeat to Michael Katsidis for the WBO title in May 2010.
Mitchell, who has battled with a number of personal problems over the years, could easily have gone on a downward spiral after that reversal.
After losing to Katsidis, alcohol featured largely in his life but, thankfully, he has has now managed to get himself right back into the world title reckoning.
He joined Hearn's Matchroom organisation and, after recording four wins on the bounce, he is now on the verge of another world title bid.
Hearn is delighted and said: "There are not many lightweights around with as much talent as Kevin Mitchell, believe me.
"He seems more determined than ever to make sure that life will not pass him by after some of the mistakes he has made.
"He has turned his career around in superb style after I felt he had become a victim of the success he had early in his career.
"He is so hard-working and dedicated and you can really see just how determined he is to succeed and get that chance of a second world title bid."
Three of his four wins since the Burns defeat have come inside the distance with Mitchell landing the IBF inter-continental crown in the process.
Now he faces a stern test against unbeaten Canadian Maduma who is the current North American Boxing Federation champion.
He has a record of 16 professional wins, ten of those coming by knockout, with Hearn saying: "This fight carries a huge risk for Kevin.
"But it also carries huge rewards and I believe that he can overcome Maduma who is technically very good and can punch with both hands.
"Kevin has now boxed four times in the last seven months and is ready to enter deep waters, it's going to be a cracking fight."
Mitchell's clash with Maduma is part of a huge night of action at Wembley, topped by Froch's grudge rematch with Groves.
Jamie McDonnell faces Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat for the vacant WBA bantamweight title while James DeGale clashes with Brandon Gonzalez in a final eliminator for the IBF super-middleweight crown.Tags: Kevin Mitchell , Mitchell-Maduma , Mitchell vs. Maduma