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Warren tells Mitchell he must learn from Estrada win

PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:21 05 October 2010

By LEN WHALEY KEVIN Mitchell showed his fighting spirit to come through a shaky defence of his WBO Intercontinental title at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday. In his first bout in the United States, Mitchell stopped experienced Colombian W

By LEN WHALEY

KEVIN Mitchell showed his fighting spirit to come through a shaky defence of his WBO Intercontinental title at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday.

In his first bout in the United States, Mitchell stopped experienced Colombian Walter Estrada with a powerful body blow in the final seconds of the fifth round - but only after enduring some rocky moments of his own.

Veteran Estrada, a former WBO featherweight title challenger, who also suffered a fifth round stoppage defeat against Scott Harrison in a WBO title challenge back in 2004, proved tougher than expected and caused the Dagenham fighter problems.

Mitchell seemed completely unprepared for Estrada's southpaw style and the Colombian landed frequently with a straight left as Mitchell made a slow start to the fight.

Three Estrada lefts found their target in round three, rocking Mitchell down to his boots, before the East End fighter began to find his range.

At the end of the fifth round, Mitchell's right to the body dropped Estrada to his knees. The Colombian gamely hauled himself upright, he was still feeling the effects of the explosive punch to the mid-section.

Estrada swayed against the ropes before referee Lindsey Page ruled he was in no condition to continue, extending Mitchell's unbeaten record to 27 fights, with 20 knockouts, since turning professional in 2003.

Yet the victory did not obscure a sub-par performance from the 23-year-old British and Commonwealth champion, who was criticised by promoter Frank Warren.

"There was no head movement there," Warren said. "As I said to him, he was looking more like Phil Mitchell rather than Kevin Mitchell.

"He's a handsome young kid - he's got to start using his head, thinking head movement, rolling inwards instead of going straight in straight lines."

But Mitchell defended his display and emphasised his lack of experience against southpaw opponents as a reason for his sluggish start.

"I think I did job considering it was only a few days beforehand that I found out it was a southpaw," said Mitchell.

"He boxed a WBO world champion and went eight rounds with him. Finding out that he was a southpaw so late was a big mess-up really.

"If I'd known beforehand it would have lasted two rounds. I haven't been in a ring or sparred with a southpaw in about three years. That's why I was caught a few times but I pulled through and did what I had to do.

I'm quite happy in the sense that I had such little preparation.


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