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De La Hoya: Linares’ speed will give Kevin Mitchell problems

mitchell111By Scott Gilfoid: Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya doesn’t see challenger Kevin Mitchell’s hometown advantage being much help to him on May 30th this month when he challenges WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares (39-2, 29 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

De La Hoya thinks that Linares’ fast hands are going to trouble Mitchell in this fight. We saw how Mitchell struggled in his fight against the quick-handed Ghislain Maduma last year in May. While Mitchell wound up winning the fight in the 11th after Maduma ran out of gas, he was dominated in the first 10 rounds.

Mitchell looked really bad in that fight, as he couldn’t deal with Maduma’s fast hands. If not for Maduma tiring out, Mitchell would have clearly lost that fight because he really was out of his league in that fight. It was a much more one-sided fight than in Mitchell’s previous losses to Ricky Burns and Michael Katsidis.

“Jorge Linares is a world champion fighter who is determined to give Kevin Mitchell a difficult time in the ring,” said De La Hoya said to Matchroom Sport. “Mitchell may have hometown advantage but Linares’ speed and skill will give him a considerable challenge. Make no mistake; this will be a difficult fight for both guys and one that is sure to excite.”

I have to agree with De La Hoya. It’s going to be a very difficult fight for Mitchell because Linares is such a good fighter technique-wise. Linares has great boxing skills on top of his fast hands. The only fights that Linares has had problems were against sluggers in losing to Sergio Thomson and Antonio DeMarco.

Linares doesn’t have much to worry about against Mitchell because he’s not a huge puncher, even though he has a lot of knockouts on his record. Mitchell’s knockouts have come for the most part against weak opposition. Yeah, Mitchell has a ton of knockouts, but you’d be hard-pressed to find quality opposition among those victories.

Mitchell is coming off of an 8th round knockout win over Daniel Estrada last January. It was a good win but you have to remember that Estrada had been softened up previously by former WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa in his last fight.

Linares has previously captured three world titles. He captured the WBC lightweight title with a victory over Javier Prieto last year.

Mitchell is still trying to turn his career around after a stoppage loss to Ricky Burns. Mitchell has won his fights since then, but he’s not taken on anyone that you can all dangerous.

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