Kevin Mitchell wants to do a demolition job on Karim El Ouazghari but says the late change of opponent doesn’t mean he will have an easier fight when he defends his IBF Inter-Continental Lightweight title at the ExCeL London on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.
Spaniard El Ouazghari replaced Brunet Zamora on the stacked 16-fight bill after the Italian was denied exit from Italy. El Ouazghari, who weighed in today at 9st 8lbs 7oz, challenged John Murray for the European title in 2011, losing on points. Mitchell (9st 8lbs 5oz) recalls watching that fight and knows he won’t be getting any easy a ride despite the change of opponent.
“I have trained really hard,” he said. “I had a change of opponent, which I was told about late on Wednesday night but those things happen. I am lucky I am still on the bill, thanks to Eddie Hearn who got me a good opponent.
“This kid I have got now, I remember him fighting John Murray a couple of years back. He is very tough, awkward, throws some big shots, is a bit of a puncher and it looks like it will be a good fight. I am looking to take him out and do a demolition job on Saturday night.
“Next year is going to be an exciting year for me and I hope end up with a World title shot against Miguel Vazquez. Previously I’ve been inactive and in and out of the gym, but now Matchroom have made sure I’m very active and moved me along nicely towards another World title fight.”
The stacked card at ExCeL London features 16 fights, with recent World Welterweight challenger Lee Purdy aiming to take the European title from Italian Leonard Bundu, the fifth defence for the Lazio man.
Recent IBF Bantamweight king Jamie McDonnell is out for the second time in four weeks, two-time World Middleweight title challenger Martin Murray is also back in action against Sergey Khomitsky and British Super Middleweight champion Paul Smith was added to the bill earlier this week.
There are two tasty Southern Area title clashes as Tony Owen defends his Light Welterweight strap against fellow Carshalton man Ricky Boylan, and Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor meets Floyd Moore for the vacant Lightweight belt. Danny Connor lost to Owen in their October meeting for the title, and he is in an eliminator for the English Light Welterweight belt against Tyler Goodjohn.
Erick Ochieng is back in action after his battle with Liam Smith for the British Light Middleweight title, moving down to Welterweight to face Welshman Dale Evans, unbeaten Super Flyweight Kal Yafai moves into double figures in the pro ranks, there’s a welcome return to the ring for unbeaten Lightweight prospect Martin J Ward and Essex Light Welterweight John Wayne Hibbert looks to build on his British Masters triumph. Cruiserweight duo Wadi Camacho and Ben Ileyemi and unbeaten Bristol Welterweight Tamuka Mucha complete the line-up.
Tickets are on sale now priced £40, £60 and £100 through www.seetickets.com and on 0871 230 7148. VIP packages priced £150 are available exclusively through Matchroom Boxing – www.matchroomboxing.com – or call 01277 359900.