Earlier today British promoter Eddie Hearn announced that his fighter Kevin Mitchell (39-2, 29) would be challenging WBC Lightweight champion Jorge Linares (38-3 25) on May 30th at the O2 in London, England.
Linares, a Teiken promoted Venezuelan, will be making the first defence of the belt he won on New Years Eve, when he stopped Javier Prieto in 4 rounds. That win saw Linares becoming the second Teiken fighter to become a 3-weight world champion, following in the footsteps of Nicaraguan sensation Roman Gonzalez, after having previously held WBC titles at both Featherweight and Super Featherweight.
For the champion this will be his first bout in the UK though he's no stranger to travelling for fights. He has fought 23 times in Japan, where he currently resides, 6 times in the US, 5 times in Mexico, 3 times in his native Venezuela, twice in Panama and once in both Argentina and South Korea.
Linares is one of the sport's most naturally gifted fighters with wonderful hand speed, movement and combinations. Watching him in full flow is a thing of artistic beauty. Sadly however he's not the most durable and his career has been plagued by stoppage losses, unexpected knock-downs and cuts.Whilst they have been an issue for his career they have helped make him a must watch fighter.
For Mitchell, a popular British fighter, this is his 3rd opportunity to become a world champion. In his previous efforts at the world level durability has again been an issue with the "Hammer" having been stopped by both Michael Katsidis and Ricky Burns. He, and his fan base, have put those losses down to out of the ring issues however this will be last chance saloon and he must win if he's to live up to the expectation many had for him when he debuted way back in 2003.
Although Mitchell has shown vulnerabilities in both of his losses he did look very impressive last time out, stopping Daniel Estrada, and if he's in the same type of form against Linares then we are in for a sensational fight come May 30th.
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