Manchester tests loom for Mitchell and Lomax

Kevin Mitchell and Michael Lomax face vital tests at Manchester's MEN Arena as Amir Khan bids for the WBA world light-welterweight crown

Kevin Mitchell and Michael Lomax face vital tests at Manchester's MEN Arena on Saturday as Amir Khan bids for the WBA world light-welterweight crown.

British super-featherweight champion Mitchell is booked for an eight-round supporting contest on the show, which sees Bolton ace Khan challenge Andreas Kotelnik for the world title.

Promoter Frank Warren has already pencilled in undefeated Mitchell's own world title challenge in September, when he is scheduled to challenge Puerto Rican titleholder Roman 'Rocky' Martinez for the WBO super featherweight crown.

Talented southpaw Lomax, a stable-mate of Mitchell's under trainer Paul Cook, is looking forward to the biggest chance of his ring career when he faces Sheffield's British welterweight champion Kell Brook in Manchester.

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Lomax, who won ABA honours during his amateur days at Stepney's Broad Street BC, gets an opportunity to break into the boxing big time when he meets the Sheffield fighter, who aims to win the Lonsdale belt outright.

Brook has already picked up the nickname 'Special K' in building up a 19-fight unbeaten record, but Lomax has suffered just one defeat in 17 pro contests is in confident mood, according to trainer Cook.

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"Michael knows he will start as the underdog against Brook, but he has been looking great in the gym and is really confident he can cause an upset," Cook said. "It won't be easy, but we are looking forward to coming home with a double to celebrate."

Like Lomax, Mitchell also knows he cannot afford any mistakes on Saturday when he faces Kenyan rival John Gicharu in an eight-round non-title fight on the star-studded bill.

Saturday's opponent Gicharu has recorded 12 victories in 17 bouts, winning his last two contests in Kenya following a British campaign that included a points defeat against former WBU champion Derry Matthews.

A Commonwealth light-middleweight title clash between Manchester's Matthew Hall and Hackney-trained Anthony Small also features on Saturday's show, while Warren's Olympic trio of James DeGale, Billy Joe Saunders and Frankie Gavin are also in action.

All three are paired with domestic rivals - DeGale faces Belfast's Ciaran Healy, Saunders meets Matt Scriven, from Nottingham, while Gavin is matched with Yorkshire rival Graham Fearn.

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