Burns Scuppers Mitchell Comeback

By Chris Gielty on September 23, 2012
Burns Scuppers Mitchell Comeback
“There’s more to come from me and the better the guy in front of me is, the better I’ll be.”

Against the backdrop of an electric atmosphere at the Scottish Exhibition Center in Glasgow, Scotland Saturday night, native son Ricky Burns stopped England’s Kevin Mitchell via TKO in the 4th round to retain his WBO lightweight title. Though Londoner Mitchell had brought an estimated 1,500 supporters up the road with him to Glasgow, it was the remainder of the partisan 9,000 strong crowd that left the arena ecstatic after Burns’ performance.

Round 1 was a slightly cagey affair. With Mitchell (33-1, 23 KOs going in) successfully controlling distance, Burns (34-2, 9 KOs) had to work to find the range with his right hand in the opening stanza. But then a sharp right hand found the mark for Mitchell as the seconds ticked down. The Englishman shaded the first round.

However, as the frenetic tempo started to rise in Round 2, Burns’ adjustments were allowing him to close the gap. Burns started find the range with his jab and, more tellingly, his right hand.

As Round 3 picked up momentum, Burns, renowned for his high fitness levels, was now going through the gears. His right hand was starting to find a home with regularity and the Scotsman’s confidence was growing in proportion. Mitchell had stated that this was a comeback fight and was a must-win at any cost, but he now had his work cut out for him. As the clock ticked down on the third, Burns had been imposing his will and his superior strength was beginning to tell.

Having fed Mitchell a steady diet of right hands through Rounds 2 and 3, it was an explosive left hook that spelled the beginning of the end for Mitchell. From the moment the hook crashed onto the unsuspecting Englishman’s jaw with just under a minute left in Round 4, it was only a matter of time.

Round 4 saw much of the same. The left jab-right hand combination continued to be successful for Burns. Then with under a minute remaining in the round Mitchell slipped yet another Burns right hand. As Mitchell tried to counter Burns with a left hook, it was the Scotsman’s left hook that reached the target first. Mitchell crumbled to the canvas, but much to his credit rose and indicated he wanted to continue. The end, though, was now as close as it was inevitable. Mitchell went down moments later from a right to the head. As Burns’ rained down punches on his opponent, referee Terry O’Connor stepped in to save the brave Englishman with just one second left in the round.

Prior to the main event, former WBO featherweight champion, Scott Harrison, who fought on the undercard, said he wanted the winner of Burns vs. Mitchell. Harrison, like Burns, is a Glasgow native and a Burns-Harrison clash could make for an interesting domestic showdown. Though both men have much in common, they are entirely different characters, which could make for a compelling big fight promotion.

Judging by his post-fight comments, it appears that Burns has other ideas in mind as well. He spoke of wanting to unify the titles at lightweight, but the belt he seems to covet most is a Ring world title belt.

Burns and his wife Amanda plan to fly to Las Vegas on holiday this week, but don’t expect boxing to be far from his mind.

“I’ll need to find out if Floyd Mayweather is around,” he said, “and if he is, I’ll try to meet up with him and get some stuff signed and maybe have a couple of rounds with him while I’m there.”

While Burns was mugging for the cameras with Michael Buffer, a once unthinkable thought may have occurred to a few of those present—don’t put it past the local boy who seems to improve with every performance to make a run at achieving his dreams.

Or as Burns put it, “There’s more to come from me and the better the guy in front of me is, the better I’ll be.”

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Ricky Burns vs Kevin Mitchell - Round 4 WBO lightweight 22.09.2012

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  1. Jethro's Flute 06:47am, 09/25/2012

    Many years ago, Marvelous Marvin Hagler picked this young lad to be world champion in the future so good call, MMH.

  2. Mike Casey 08:34am, 09/24/2012

    Very good win by Ricky. Scott Harrison will hopefully be told to get in line with all the rest.

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