Kevin Mitchell retires
By Scott Gilfoid: Two months after being thrashed by unbeaten lightweight contender Ismael Barroso by a 5th round knockout last December, former world title challenger Kevin Mitchell (39-4, 29 KOs) has reportedly retired from the sport for lack of interest.
Mitchell has his last two fights by knockouts, so it’s not surprising that he has opted to retire from boxing. But like a lot of fighters that retire, Mitchell will likely be back within a year or less. That’s my guess.
When you hear a fighter saying they’re retiring, you can say it’s code for them going on a vacation to rest up before staging a comeback. In most cases, the comebacks fail miserably, but sometimes they work out like in the case of former heavyweight champion George Foreman.
“I came in to the gym on Monday and said to my trainer Tony Sims that I didn’t fancy it and that I’m going to call it a day,” Mitchell said to skysports.com. “I was on the punch bag and not enjoying it. Normally I love the punch bag but I really didn’t have it in my heart any more to train and go at it.”
For the time being, you can’t blame Mitchell for hanging up his gloves right now. I mean, he was whipped by WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares last May in losing by a 10th round stoppage. Then after that, 32-year-old knockout artist Ismael Barroso bludgeoned Mitchel into submission in stopping him in the 5th round last December. While some of Mitchell’s fans felt that he was close to beating Linares, I don’t agree with that.
The only thing Mitchell did in the Linares fight was drop the Velenzuelan fighter with a textbook right elbow to the head in the 5th. That punch shouldn’t have been allowed, but the referee, who was on top of everything, totally blew it.
A blind man could have spotted the elbow to the head, and it was just so, so sad how the knockdown counted. Other than that bogus knockdown, Mitchell did nothing in the fight other than throwing wild amateurish left hooks all night long. Those punches were so easy for Linares to avoid. It was like Linares was fighting an unschooled amateur in the ring. Finally, Linares dropped a bloody and batter Mitchell in the 10th round and the fight was then stopped.
“The fight against Linares was the stand out for me and without injury I believe Kevin would have become world champion that night,” Mitchell’s promoter Eddie Hearn said to skysports.com. “Kevin has been entirely dedicated to the sport under Tony Sims, my only regret is that we didn’t all team up earlier in his career.”
Here’s the reality of the situation; if Mitchell had continued his career, he would have had to deal with talented contenders like Felix Verdejo, Dejan Zlaticanin, and Petr Petrov. I’m sorry, I couldn’t see Mitchell beating any of those guys. I’m sure Hearn could probably have maneuvered Mitchell around the talented contenders and had him face fodder opposition until he got another crack at a title. But what good would have have done if Mitchell lacked the talent to beat any of the champions?
— Mark Bennett (@Benno11M) February 10, 2016
Heck, you can throw Mitchell into the ring with Linares, Terry Flanagan, Anthony Crolla and Rances Barthelemy 24/7, but he’s not going to beat any of them. I don’t rate Crolla as a champion, but I still see him easily out-boxing Mitchell. Crolla is pretty on his way out as the WBA champion in my view, because he’s on the verge of facing Barroso, and that’s a fight that won’t likely go his way.
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