• Boxing

Kevin Mitchell has his eye on title shot

Dan Rafael
January 8, 2015
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Kevin Mitchell is one win away from getting a second shot at a world title.

In 2012, the lightweight faced his friend Ricky Burns and was stopped in the fourth round of their title bout. Mitchell has won five fights in a row since and faces one last hurdle before he gets another shot.

Mitchell (38-2, 28 KOs), 30, is set to face Daniel Estrada (32-3-1, 24 KOs), 29, of Mexico, in a final elimination bout on January 31 at the O2 Arena in London.

Estrada is also bidding to get a second title shot. In his last fight, he was knocked out in the ninth round challenging then-titleholder Omar Figueroa Jr. in August.

The winner will become the mandatory challenger for Jorge Linares, who won a vacant belt by fourth-round knockout over Javier Prieto on December 30 in Tokyo.

"I know that I can beat Linares. I believe I would knock him out and take that title," Mitchell said. "[Promoter] Eddie Hearn puts the fighters in front of me and I take them out, that's the deal.

"Estrada is a Mexican fighter so he's going to be game and as tough as they come. He's a good fighter. He's quite upright, his hands are wide and he's a good boxer that doesn't get involved in a scrap unless he has to. He caused Omar Figueroa problems until he got chinned, and that will be in the back of his mind as it's his first fight back. It's a massive fight for us both. It's a fight I simply have to win."

Mitchell is coming off an 11th-round knockout of Ghislain Maduma in May. That was slated to be an eliminator for a shot at the belt now held by Mickey Bey, but Mitchell came in over the 135-pound limit.

Also on the Jan. 31 card, heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua (10-0, 10 KOs), the 2012 British Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, takes on experienced American Kevin Johnson (29-6-1, 14 KOs), who went the distance in one-sided loss to then-titleholder Vitali Klitschko in 2009.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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