Battle Lines Drawn Between Burns And Mitchell

THEY may be friends but British lightweight sensations RICKY BURNS and KEVIN MITCHELL will toss their friendship aside when Burns defends his WBO crown on September 22nd at the SECC in Glasgow.

The fight has been simmering for a number of months now and it was predicted that the showdown between the two would take place on the undercard of David Haye’s bout with Dereck Chisora on July 14 at Upton Park, home of Mitchell’s beloved West Ham United.

However, Burns did not believe he would be able to make the weight in time after returning from his wedding in Cancun.

After losing his unbeaten record to Michael Katsidis in May 2010, the same man Burns dethroned last November, Mitchell went on a path of self-destruction and was arrested on suspicion of possesing cocaine and running a cannabis farm with his mother.

However, Mitchell bounced back from his crushing defeat to the hardened Aussie to put the first blemish on John Murray’s record with a sensational performance in July 2011.

Coatbridge crusader Burns, 29 and Essex boy Mitchell, 27, were once sparring partners and keep in touch through Twitter and online gaming. However, Mitchell admitted at the official press conference in London on Monday that the respect and friendship they have will simply be forgotten about when the bell sounds.

Mitchell said: “You can’t beat Ricky’s personality, he’s a lovely man and a mate of mine.

“That doesn’t make it harder in the ring, but it makes it harder when you’re promoting the fight.

“We genuinely get on well and there wont be any trash talking. But once we get in the ring we fight, that’s our job.

“I’ve wanted this fight for a long time now and Ricky has given me the chance. I’m determined to win it, but I know I’m in for a hard night’s work.

“He was beaten earlier in his career but that can happen to anyone. He’s really come on so much since then.

“This is my last title chance. I’m going to beat myself into shape to prepare for it properly.

“It will be a good night. I’ll be bringing about 3,000 fans.”

Burns, who will continue to work in his part-time job at a DW Sports store in Coatbridge, revealed that neither being world champion nor marriage has changed his life.

“I don’t see myself as a world champion until I step inside those ropes,” said Burns.

“Come fight night once we step into the ring the friendship is over, this is business time.

“Kevin has had his problems outside the ring. He’s got back on the straight and narrow and he’s looking forward to fighting me now but there is now way that belt is leaving Scotland.”

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Kenny Anderson Victorious Again

EDINBURGH’s super middleweight warrior KENNY ANDERSON defeated Latvian RUSLANS POJONISEVS in Liverpool on Saturday night as he continues to wait for his shot at GEORGE GROVES’ British title.

The 29-year-old was a late addition to Steve Wood’s bill at the Olympia thanks to Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport and got another opportunity to warm-up for his future challenge.

Anderson won the bout 60-53 on points and dominated every round of the fight, flooring Pojonisevs with a stinging hook to the body. However, Pojonisevs held on until the sixth and final round meaning this was Anderson’s first points victory since defeating Patrick Mendy in 2010, having stopped his last five opponents.

The deadline for the purse bids for the Groves-Anderson fight is July 11 and the British Boxing Board of Control has stated that the fight must take place before the end of September.

The 24-year-old Groves was supposed to defend his title against Anderson at Wembley Arena in March but pulled out days before the fight citing injury. Groves was then scheduled to face WBO champion Robert Stieglitz but injury again forced him to withdraw, leaving the fight with Anderson up in the air.

Jones Jr Scrapes A Victory In Poland

THE legendary ROY JONES JR showed his age as he defeated PAWEL GLAZEWSKI by a controversial split decision on Saturday night at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland.

It was apparent right from the start that the 43-year-old was well past his best as he sluggishly made his way around the ring. Glazewski was a late replacement for DAWID KOSTECKI who was convicted of being the ringleader in a criminal organisation days before the fight.

Glazewski immediately troubled Jones Jr and was by far the busier of the two. Jones Jr could not seem to find any pace and rhythm with Glazewski landing hard exchanges and using good combinations. However, Jones Jr appeared to regroup in the fifth round as he dug deep to land effective combinations that were reminiscent of his former greatness.

This moment of nostalgia was short-lived however as Jones Jr began to tire quickly and reverted back to his slow and static work rate.

It was almost painful to watch when Jones Jr was dropped in the sixth round with a left hook that hit his gloves harder than his chin. Jones Jr looked visibly shaken by the shot from the light-punching Glazewski with his corner instructing him to up his work rate. From then on Jones Jr was backed up against the ropes and hanging on for dear life.

Jones Jr did make some form of comeback in the final couple of rounds that may well have persuaded the judges but it was clear for all to see that Glazewski had punished Jones Jr throughout.

Glazewski was undefeated prior to the bout but lost that record with the judges scoring it 95-94 for Glazewski and 96-93, 95-94  for Jones Jr.

Jones Jr now has a fight with WBC champion Krzysztof Wlodarczyk at some point in the Autumn to look forward to but you would hope he realises that he is a shadow of his former self and retires with some amount of dignity.