By Sheldan Keay
Wembley Stadium, London - Kevin Mitchell produced a come from behind victory to stop Ghislain Maduma in round eleven of their lightweight bout.
Maduma was the better boxer for the majority of the bout, but Mitchell was able to get the victory after knocking his opponent down twice in the penultimate round.
While Maduma was able to get back to his feet before the count of ten, referee Phil Edwards waved off the contest, with some observers feeling the stoppage was premature.
The victory for Mitchell should have seen him become mandatory challenger to IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez, but the Dagenham boxer was 2lbs over when the IBF conducted their check weight on Saturday morning.
Despite the issue, promoter Eddie Hearn is confident that a fight against Vasquez can still be made.
“We know that Kevin [Mitchell] missed the check weight but I think we can make the fight with Vasquez anyway,” said Hearn.
“It was a great performance, hopefully it’s a shot at the IBF title for him next.”
Despite being behind on the scorecards, 29-year-old Mitchell was always confident that he would get the victory.
“He’s a fast starter so we knew he would get the better of the early rounds,” said Mitchell.
“After a while I started countering and putting the pressure on. I made him feel it and it was only a matter of time before I got there. He was all over the place even before I put him over. He’d have been hurt more if the fight went on.”
The beginning of the fight saw Maduma pushing forward with Mitchell looking to get in and out with his shots.
Maduma landed the crisper work throughout the early rounds, with Mitchell appearing tentative to throw.
Maduma continued to get the better of the action as the fight went on, choosing to unload the majority of his combination punches while Mitchell was backed up on the ropes.
Round six was a strong round for the Canadian boxer, landing a solid left hook on Mitchell which appeared to briefly rock him.
Mitchell bounced straight back though and round seven was arguably the best round for Mitchell in the fight so far.
Maduma looked to be tiring from that point onwards, and it was in round 11 when Mitchell finally got through with a clean combination.
The first knockdown saw Maduma stumble back onto the ropes, getting up before the referee reached his count of ten.
The second flooring occured in much cleaning circumstances, with Mitchell landing a crunching left hook.
Maduma again got back to his feet, but after a brief stumble, the referee ended proceedings, handing Mitchell the victory.
The win sees Mitchell extend his record to 38 wins and two defeats from his 40 fights, with 28 of those victories coming inside the distance.
It was the first defeat for Maduma during his 17 fight career, who now has a record of 16-1.