Boxing


John Murray Wants All-British Showdown With Kevin Mitchell, But If Mitchell Beats Katsidis He May Go For Juan Manuel Marquez Next

by James Slater - Shortly after his exciting, if generally one-sided, win over a brave Gary Buckland this past Friday night, where he won the vacant European lightweight title, the unbeaten John Murray made it clear he'd love an all-British showdown with the also unbeaten Kevin Mitchell next - if Mitchell gets past tough Australian Michael Katsidis this coming Saturday, that is. And as big an event and as exciting a match-up as Murray Vs. Mitchell would surely be, it seems Mitchell's promoter Frank Warren may have other ideas for his fighter's next fight (again, assuming he beats Katsidis on May 15th, which is by no means a formality)..

According to word on Warren's official website, Mitchell, unbeaten at 31-0(23), may wind up facing the great Mexican that is Juan Manuel Marquez in his next fight after Katsidis. The 36-year-old Mexican holds the "real" WBO 135-pound belt (Katsidis, the interim WBO ruler, defends his honours against Mitchell on Saturday evening), and he will be back in action defending his title against Juan Diaz, in a rematch of a great fight, on July 31st in Las Vegas - and, according to Warren, Mitchell and Marquez could meet afterwards if they both win.

"Whoever wins on Saturday (between Katsidis and Mitchell), Marquez will have so many days to defend against them. He might go up to light-welterweight for a big fight up there, but if he decides to hang around at lightweight and Kevin beats Katsidis, that's a fight I would want to do," Warren said on his site.

"I don't mind who I fight, I leave all that to Frank. If Marquez doesn't vacate that's a fight I want. But I have to get past Katsidis first," Mitchell said.

So, though the fight is no definite, for a number of reasons, a Marquez-Mitchell clash, for the full WBO title at 135-pounds, could happen. For a while it looked as though "Dinamita" would face either Ricky Hatton, in "The Hitman's" comeback bout, or Amir Khan, in a fight that would see Marquez challenge for the WBA 140-pound belt. It's still remotely possible that both of these fights could happen - and Warren did suggest himself that Marquez may go up to 140 after his rematch with Diaz - but if Marquez were offered enough money, he would maybe opt to face Mitchell (again, at the risk of repeating myself, IF Mitchell gets past Katsidis).

Already being referred to in some quarters as a future star, maybe even a superstar, Mitchell would take a massive couple of steps in the right direction with wins over Katsidis and Marquez. After showing his newfound maturity and patience against the always-dangerous Breidis Prescott back in December, Mitchell certainly arrived on the world stage. His classy points win caught attention and a similar win over fan-friendly warrior Katsidis would turn even more heads Mitchell's way.

If he can once again box to perfection and follow ace trainer Jimmy Tibbs' game-plan to a tee, I can see Mitchell winning on Saturday. A points win is more likely, but considering the way Katsidis has shown a tendency to mark up in fights (and almost certainly will again on Saturday), Mitchell could win via a TKO; with "The Great" being stopped on facial injuries and/or cuts.

International stardom, and very possibly a huge fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, await "Mighty" Mitchell - the only man standing in his way is 29-year-old Michael Katsidis!

Article posted on 11.05.2010



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