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Kevin Mitchell making a mistake by fighting Murray without tune-up

By Sean McDaniel: Former British super featherweight champion Kevin Mitchell (31-1, 23 KO’s) is making a huge blunder by facing unbeaten lightweight John Murray (31-0, 18 KO’s) without any kind of tune-up bout this Saturday night at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Mitchell hasn’t fought since last year when he was knocked out in the third round by Michael Katsidis in May.

That fight knocked Mitchell out of action for a long time, and naturally you would think that he would be smart enough to realize that he he needs at least one or two tune-up bouts before taking on a pressure fighter like Murray. It doesn’t matter than Murray is somewhat of a plodder and lacks good hand speed and explosive power, he’s still a dangerous fighter for someone who has been out of the ring as long as Mitchell has.

This fight reeks of desperation on Mitchell’s part, because it seems like a gamble. Why take a risky fight like Murray off of such a long layoff? I suppose Mitchell is hoping he’s still the same fighter he was pre-Katsidis, but that’s not likely going to be the case. With that kind of inactivity, Mitchell’s skills may have deteriorated enough to give Murray an edge in this fight.

I thought Mitchell was the better fighter than Murray before the loss to Katsidis. I still think Mitchell would have beaten Murray had they fought four months after the loss to Katsidis, but not now. Too much time has gone by and Mitchell will very likely have stamina problems once the fight goes past the sixth round. Murray likes to wear down his opponents with his pressure and a rusty fighter like Mitchell will be perfect for him.

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