By Terence Dooley
Frank Warren has reached out to Boxingscene.com to quash persistent rumors that Coatbridge's Ricky Burns will defend his WBO lightweight belt against London’s Kevin Mitchell in Scotland on July 1. Burns is penciled in for his second defence of the full title against an opponent TBA, with Mitchell’s name bandied about by many within the trade and amidst whispers that Kevin has finally agreed terms for the domestic clash.
Indeed, Warren had hoped to make the fight earlier this year only to blast Mitchell for pricing himself out of the contest. Mitchell, 33-1 (24), put himself back in the 135lb mix by handing Manchester’s John Murray his first defeat in July of last year, an eighth-round stoppage, and has since registered a 10-round decision win over Felix Lora at London’s York Hall in February.
The Dagenham-based boxer fought for the interim WBO crown in May of 2010, a third-round TKO defeat to Michael Katsidis, and then disappeared until seemingly upending Murray’s world title charge. “Mighty” had hoped to face Brandon Rios in the U.S. last December only for potential visa problems to nix the contest and hand the opportunity to Murray, much to Mitchell’s chagrin.
Now, though, the 27-year-old appears to understand that a showdown with Burns, 34-2 (9), is his best opportunity to win a world title. Indeed, the division’s consensus kingpin Juan Manuel Marquez completes his move to light-welterweight tonight when he contests the interim WBO title against Serhiy Fedchenko in Mexico City – leaving the division in search of a new ruler.
Warren today informed Boxingscene.com that the fight between Burns and Mitchell has not been inked, this will stave off speculation for the time being, although British fans would welcome a showdown between “Rickster”, who defeated Katsidis and Paulus Moses by decision in his last two fights, and “The Hammer”. However, it would seem that the showdown remains on the backburner as the search continues for Burns’s next opponent.
Please send news and views to n[email protected] or Twitter @Terryboxing.