Mitchell looking for capital gains on return to the ring

Kevin Mitchell is set to defend his British super-featherweight title and make his first London appearance in more than 12 months against Steve Foster Jr in April

Kevin Mitchell is set to defend his British super-featherweight title and make his first London appearance in more than 12 months against Salford's Steve Foster Jr on a Sports Network show in the Docklands in April.

The popular fighter's previous appearance in the capital was a thrilling ninth-round victory over Carl Johanneson at the O2 Arena last March in a thrilling battle that was later named as the Best Fight of 2008 by the British Boxing Board of Control.

The fight gave Mitchell his 26th straight victory and earned him the British super-featherweight title, which he will now put on the line in April.

Having tamed Leeds fighter Johanneson, Mitchell crossed the Atlantic for a summer success over former world title challenger Walter Estrada, stopping the Colombian in five rounds in Atlantic City.


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Following that victory, hard-hitting Mitchell took time out to have an operation on his hand in a bid to solve a long-standing knuckle problem.

Now - after months of hard work in the gym - the 24-year-old faces a tough return to action against a dangerous opponent who was due to challenge Nicky Cook for the WBO world super-featherweight title at the ExCeL Arena in December.

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Cook was ultimately forced to withdraw from that contest after suffering from flu and the Stepney-born world champion must now defend his WBO crown against mandatory challenger Ramon Martinez - a contest that takes place at Manchester's MEN Arena next month.

That has left Cook's stable-mate Mitchell free to faces the challenge from Salford fighter Foster Jr, a 28-year-old with a useful pro record that includes just two defeats in 27 outings.

Both defeats came against quality opposition. Foster dropped a pair of points-verdicts to Derry Matthews and Alex Arthur - both in bouts for world title honours.

The veteran battler had earlier held the WBU and British featherweight title belts.

But Mitchell is confident of making a winning return to the ring following 10 months on the sidelines and believes he will make the step up

to challenge for a world title in the coming year.

He said: "I think 2009 will be a big year for me with at least one world title fight.

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