ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Unbeaten former two time world champion Zsolt “Firebird” Erdei scored a sixth round technical knockout over former world champion Byron Mitchell on Saturday night in front of throngs of Hungarian supporters who chanted and cheered their man to victory.
Erdei vs. Mitchell served as the chief undercard bout to the Super Six semifinal clash between WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch and Glen Johnson from the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Erdei (33-0, 18 KOs) came out aggressively from the opening bell, never letting Mitchell (28-8-1, 21 KOs) put together any punches of his own. It was in stark contrast to Erdei’s last outing, also at Boardwalk Hall, where Erdei put on a dominant boxing clinic against veteran Sampson Onyango.
In the sixth round, Erdei’s activity put Mitchell on the canvas twice, the second time prompting referee Eddie Cotton to call a halt to the action at 1:58 of the round.
Erdei credited the rejuvenated performance him being comfortable fighting for the second straight time in America.
“The first fight, I was a little homesick,” said the Hungarian native, who spent most of his pro career fighting in Europe. “This time I had more preparation and more time to get used to being here. It showed in the ring.”
Looking ahead, Erdei, who held the WBO cruiserweight title from 2004-2009 before giving it up for a brief stint at cruiserweight, many possibilities in the talent-rich 175 lbs. division. A chance run-in just hour before his fight had his mind on one man in particular.
“I met Bernard Hopkins at the bakery in Caesars just before the fight,” said Erdei. “He was a real gentleman and we have a great mutual respect for each other. It would be an honor to fight him.”