• Lightweight

Burns and Mitchell to do battle

ESPN staff
June 26, 2012
Ricky Burns' wish of fighting Kevin Mitchell has been granted © Getty Images

Ricky Burns will put his WBO lightweight title on the line against Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow on September 22.

The long-awaited world title clash has been in the offing for some time, with Mitchell coming back into the frame having reignited his career with a brilliant win over John Murray last summer.

Burns stepped up to lightweight to conquer Michael Katsidis, who had previously beaten Mitchell in devastating fashion at Upton Park, and the former world super-featherweight champion has since successfully defended his crown against Paulus Moses.

"The fight's been on the boil for the last couple of years and the fans and press have been desperate for it to happen, it's fantastic that it's on at last," Burns said. "We are both at the top of our game now and I'm in this sport to prove that I'm the best, next to me Mitchell's the best around and it will be great fight between two warriors.

"He put on a great showing against John Murray last year that showed just how good a boxer he is to take apart another champion. But this fight is the fight I've wanted and it's got me really excited, Mitchell's going to bring out the best in me and I believe that the fans are going to be in for an unbelievable fight."

Mitchell, who has only tasted defeat once in a 34-fight career, promised fireworks, saying: "I'm promising you now you're going to see the best fight of the year or any year. This is a real fight between the two best in the division and it's not going to be for the faint-hearted.

"I rate Burns very highly; he's a great fighter and has really proved himself as one of the top champions in the world. I'm going into the lion's den and I know I can beat him and take the world title. Burns is a top kid and I've got to be at top of my game, the fittest and strongest I've ever been in my life to win."

The venue for the contest has yet to be confirmed, with the Braehead Arena - which hosted Coatbridge fighter Burns' last outing - a possibility, as is an open-air fight in a football stadium.

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