In a night of plentiful early stoppages, Kevin Mitchell’s world title dreams were dashed on Saturday night when Michael Katsidis stopped him in the third round at his beloved West Ham Stadium in Upton Park.
The roaring from the passionate pro Mitchell crowd wasn’t enough to deter Katsidis from achieving a victory however.
X Factor finallist, Stacey Soloman, also from Dagenham in Essex, got the fans into a frenzy as she sang the British National Anthem in a rather low voice that was, strangely, barely audible.
After the initial introduction of both boxers, Katsidis and Mitchell both started round one cautiously, with neither fighter taking control of each other, but it was plain to see that Mitchell was prepared to work behind his left jab to keep Michael at bay.
Midway through round two, Katsidis began to stalk Mitchell but he was being picked off with some combination punches, as well as that left jab, that was not really having any effect on the determination of Katsidis.
Round three was the beginning of the end for Kevin as he was caught early in the round with a big left that sent him sprawling into the ropes. He tried to desperately hold on but Katsidis was having none of it as he continued to find Mitchell with some big hooks.
It looked as though Kevin was recovering as he began to try and pick off Katsidis again, but another massive left hook that caught him on the ropes was the decider of the fight and Mitchell almost lost his balance as he was sent sideways into the ropes and referee, Dave Parris, halted the proceedings with precisely one minute left of the round.
After the fight Kevin admitted that mistakes at world level can’t be made in the game and he walked into the left hook that ended it but he promised fans that he will be back after the Summer.
With that now famous volcano erupting in Iceland, yet again, the likeable Katsidis stated that he is stranded in England for the mean time but that he was happy with the win and thanked the British fans for their hospitality!
It’s difficult to see where Mitchell goes from here but perhaps a fight at European level may be in order. He can’t really afford to have any more easy fights if he wishes to, once again, compete at this kind of level.
Undercard fights saw Derek Chisora beat Danny Williams in the second round by TKO in which he was floored twice.
Chisora was the busier man as he tried to pummel Williams from the get go and Danny didn’t really get the chance to get started.
I hope Danny was serious in his statements before the fight, that this was to be his last bout. He has had a good career, full of ups and downs, his most famous achievements being his one armed victory over Mark Potter back in 2000, in which Williams right shoulder dislocated early in the bout, leaving him with just the left hook to end it, and a win over legendary ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson in 2004.
James Degale also grabbed the WBA International belt when he stopped Sam Horton in the 5th round. Horton had no answer for Degale’s elusiveness and power as he was picked off with timed shots again and again. Sam was knocked down in the second round by a combination of punches and it was only a matter of time before the end was coming to fruition.
Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders all had easy victories with Gavin’s coming inside the first round and Saunders winning 5 of the 6 rounds to take his victory on points.
Finally, Kevin Mitchell’s younger brother, Vinny claimed a win on points over 4 rounds to round out a reasonably entertaining night.