Mitchell explains reason behind relocation of Murray showdown

PUBLISHED: 18:00 08 July 2011

Kevin Mitchell (left) and John Murray during the head-to-head at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester.

Kevin Mitchell (left) and John Murray during the head-to-head at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Fight now scheduled to take place next weekend in Liverpool

Kevin Mitchell explained why his showdown duel with John Murray, scheduled for this Saturday at the ExCeL Arena in East London’s Docklands, has been moved to July 16 in Liverpool.

The east Londoner, trained by father-and-son duo Jimmy and Mark Tibbs at the TKO gym, has revealed that his preparations were interrupted by a viral infection and it was clear that he would not recapture his full fitness in time to box this weekend.

He informed promoter Frank Warren, who quickly re-scheduled the clash for the Liverpool Echo Arena card a week later.

“I want to face Murray when I’m fully fight fit so there are no excuses,” said Mitchell.

“I’ve been in the gym since before this fight was announced and was on schedule with my training and in fantastic shape.

“But I was then hit by a virus that really knocked me back so I couldn’t train at all.

“I would not go into the ring knowing that I wasn’t 100 per cent fit so I asked Frank Warren for a slight delay.

“I’ll be fit and ready for July 16 and fans will see the best of Kevin Mitchell.”

Mitchell insists he is confident of denting Murray’s unbeaten record wherever the fight takes place, but it is a blow for his local supporters that they will have to make the long trip to Merseyside, rather than the much shorter journey to the ExCeL Arena in London’s Docklands.

The venue will give the Manchester fighter virtual home advantage in a battle that should set the winner up for a world-title bid.

The North v South encounter now features on a blockbuster bill, headlined by Ricky Burns’ WBO world super-featherweight title 
defence against Mitchell’s former stable-mate Nicky Cook.

Also on the Liverpool card is the explosive rematch between Tony Bellew and Ovill McKenzie, for the British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles and Frankie Gavin defends his WBO Intercontinental belt against footballer-turned-boxer Curtis Woodhouse.

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