Wednesday, March 17, 2010

West Ham United host Kevin Mitchell

Kevin Mitchell today described his chance to fight for a world title at Upton Park as a dream come true - and says it will only be bettered by lifting the WBO lightweight crown against Michael Katsidis. Mitchell, a life-long West Ham fan, will fight the power-punching Australian on May 15 as promoter Frank Warren kicks off the new decade in style. It's his biggest show since more than 50,000 packed the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, for Joe Calzaghe's super-middleweight unification fight against Mikkel Kessler in 2007. And he says that it will match some of the massive events of the 1990s featuring the likes of Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and Frank Bruno. For Mitchell, it will be an opportunity to perform at the stadium where many of his heroes plied their trade, including World Cup winners Bobby Moore and Sir Geoff Hurst. "I grew up watching West Ham play and if I hadn't been a boxer I would have been a footballer," said unbeaten Mitchell. "I think one of my proudest moments was being introduced to the fans down here before a game the other week and getting an amazing reception. "But now I'm going to be fighting here and I still can't quite believe it. "The fans in the east end are very special people, and to get the opportunity to fight in front of them is a dream come true. "Boxing and football are a way of life around here, and I think you are going to see an amazing event on May 15 with everyone turning out to see it." Warren added: "There is a long history of boxing in the east end stretching back to the days of Ted Kid Lewis. "But Kevin has got the chance to do what none of the great east end fighters did, and that's fighting for a world title at Upton Park. "The response from all over London has been fantastic. We've waited a long time for a London fighter who can fill stadiums, and Kevin can be that man. "If he beats Katsidis then you are going to see more big fights at West Ham. I can promise you that May 15 is going to be an atmospheric and historic occasion." On the undercard, Sam Sexton will challenge Danny Williams for the British heavyweight title, while fellow prospect Derek Chisora features in a 10 rounder. 2008 Olympic champion James DeGale challenges for his first title, the WBA Intercontinental super-middleweight belt, while Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders feature in eight rounders.

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