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Kevin Mitchell: I know I’m going to win this fight against Linares

mitchell100By Scott Gilfoid: #1 WBC Kevin Mitchell (39-2, 29 KOs) did his part to earn his title shot this Saturday night against WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares (38-3, 25 KOs) by defeating Daniel Estrada by an 8th round knockout last January in their WBC l35lb eliminator bout, but it seems that the victory for Mitchell has given him a big too much confidence.

Beating Estrada is a nice little feather to put in one’s cap, but it’s really not that big of a deal given that Estrada had previously been knocked out by Omar Figueroa Jr. last year in August and arguably didn’t rate to be fighting in an eliminator bout for the mandatory spot for the WBC.

Mitchell feels very, very confident that he’s going to beat the 29-year-old Linares this Saturday night. Mitchell points to his hometown crowd that will be supporting him on Saturday when he and Linares face each other at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Mitchell feels that he’ll fight better with the crowd on his side.

“This is the making of my career,” Mitchell said to ESPN.com. “I will win this fight and create a legacy as a world champion. But I believe I will shut him down. I know I am going to win this fight.”

Well, I know Mitchell didn’t do too well the last time he fought for a world title in 2012 when he was ingloriously knocked out in the 4th round by then WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns. I know that Mitchell didn’t have a good time with Michael Katsidis in 2010 when Mitchell was knocked out in the 3rd round. Those two fights are pretty much the biggest fights of Mitchell’s career, and he failed in both of them. In other words, Mitchell is 0-2 in important fights.

Sure, Mitchell has beaten guys like Estrada, Ghislain Maduma, John Murray and Breidis Prescott, but those guys aren’t in the same league as Katsidis and Burns. I also think Mitchell deserved to lose the Prescott fight, which took place in the UK. I had Prescott clearly winning that fight. But my point is, Mitchell fails when he steps up.

That’s just the way it is. Future events cast their shadows before, so I expect Mitchell to lose on Saturday against Linares. I mean, I really hope we see a different Mitchell in this fight, but his talent doesn’t seem to cut the mustard when he steps up against better competition, does it?

“I feel his style of fighting will suit me,” Linares said.

Linares is a technician of the first order, and he does very well against sluggers like Mitchell. Linares recently took care of Javier Prieto, Ira Terry and Nihito Arakawa in his last three fights. All of those guys are very aggressive like Mitchell, but Linares made it look easy in totally out-boxing them and getting the better of them in the slugging department.

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