- Ricky Burns v Kevin Mitchell
Brilliant Burns stops Mitchell in 4th
Kevin Mitchell's bid to win the WBO lightweight title ended in failure on Saturday as Ricky Burns produced a world class performance to defend his crown in Glasgow.
Mitchell, who had only lost one previous bout - against Michael Katsidis in 2010 - entered hostile territory to take on Burns, the former WBO super-featherweight champion who was looking for his seventh victory at world title level. The Dagenham fighter attempted to out-manoeuvre Burns, but he got dropped twice in the fourth round to signal the stoppage.
Burns' last defeat came three years ago against Carl Johanneson, but he has grown in stature since that bout and has constantly dictated fights in recent times. He landed a chopping right to signal his power in round one, as both men entered into a toe-to-toe exchange that got the crowd on its feet.
Mitchell maintains that his defeat to Katsidis was a result of problems outside the ring, and he had been supporting that claim in recent bouts with fine victories over John Murray and Felix Lora. However, he was undoubtedly stunned by a right from Burns in the second as his light-footed approach failed to give him control of the ring.
Burns clearly took the third round and then delivered the fight-ending blows in the fourth, signalling the beginning of the end with two clubbing rights followed by a left. Mitchell got back to his feet, albeit shakily, and was quickly dropped again, before two more rights from Burns finished the job.
Also on Saturday, Carl Frampton propelled himself into world title contention with a sixth-round stoppage victory over Steve Molitor in Belfast. Frampton was facing the biggest challenge of his career against the two-time IBF champion, but he turned on the style in front of his home crowd on a night when the Commonwealth and WBA Inter-Continental super-bantamweight titles were at stake.
An explosive opening round saw Frampton rock his man with heavy shots off either wing, before Molitor hit the canvas in the third - claiming a slip. More shuddering right hands landed from Frampton, who dropped his man without question this time right on the bell.
Molitor took another count in the fourth, complaining to the referee during the pause, and was in trouble once again in the sixth - finally put out of his misery by the referee who decided Molitor had taken enough punishment.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Lee Selby was forced to pull out of his British and Commonwealth featherweight title fight with Martin Lindsay due to illness.
And Paul McCloskey defeated Manuel Perez via a unanimous 118-110 118-111 118-112 decision for the WBA Inter-Continental light-welterweight title.