Returning Mitchell out to prove his fitness ahead of title shot

Kevin Mitchell will bid to make a spectacular return to action at York Hall after lining up a world title clash against Roman 'Rocky' Martinez

By LEN WHALEY

Kevin Mitchell will bid to make a spectacular return to action at York Hall next month after lining up a world title clash against Roman 'Rocky' Martinez later this summer.

Mitchell is booked for his first bout in almost a year at the Bethnal Green venue on May 22 - and could then take on Puerto Rico's Martinez for the WBO super-featherweight crown at the O2 Arena in Docklands in July.

Unbeaten Martinez defeated Mitchell's stablemate Nicky Cook in Manchester last month, scoring a fourth-round stoppage to take the world crown at the MEN Arena.


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But Mitchell is convinced he can take out the 26-year-old Latin American, who was trailing Stepney-born Cook before dramatically turning the fight his way.

"I want to have an eight-round warm-up contest on the show at York Hall and then a world title fight against Roman Martinez in July," Mitchell said.

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"I've had my eye on Martinez for a while - he's a good world champion but I've got his number.

I'm hitting harder and stronger than ever in the gym and I'll definitely be ready for the chance. I think I can go on and clean up the super-featherweight division this year."

British champion Mitchell is awaiting the all-clear from his medical team as he prepares to resume his ring career after a 10-month break following surgery on a hand problem that has troubled him since the early days of his pro career.

"I snapped the tendon in my left hand and had injections to numb the pain, but I've had the tendon sewn back in now," explained Mitchell.

The eight-round warm-up contest at York Hall, which features on the undercard of Kell Brook's British welterweight title defence against Young Mutley, will be crowd-puller Mitchell's first London outing for more than a year.

Fight fans will certainly recall Mighty Mitch's last appearance in the capital when he scored a ninth-round victory over Leeds titleholder Carl Johanneson at the 02 Arena last March.

That was the night he claimed the British title in a thrilling battle that has been acclaimed the best fight of 2008 by the British Boxing Board of Control.

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