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Ricky Burns Dominates Kevin Mitchell, Retains Title
Scotland’s Ricky Burns produced a viruoso performance to stop Kevin Mitchell inside four rounds and defend his WBO lightweight crown at the SECC in Glasgow.
Burns, who has enjoyed landmark successes against Paulus Moses, Michael Katsidis and Roman Martinez in the last two years was in formidable shape as he displayed the sort of power that had sometimes been missing from his earlier career.
After a tight opening session, Burns began to dominate landing a number of solid right hands to pocket both the second and third rounds.
The fourth followed a similar pattern until a gigantic left hook landed on the chin of Mitchell and marked the beginning of the end for the Englishman.
Referee Terry O’Connor allowed the fight to continue but after administering a second count and seeing Mitchell virtually defenceless as the round drew to a close, called off proceedings.
For Burns the fight marks his ascension to the top table world lightweights and arguably grants him a seat in the argument for Scotland’s finest ever boxer.
Mitchell on the other hand, may struggle to force his name back into world title contention, however, with Burns considering another move up in weight over the next 18 months, there may be a void that the Dagenham born 27-year-old can fill.
On the undercard Scott Harrison continued his return from the boxing wilderness with a six round win over part-time school teacher Joe Elifdh.
Despite recording a shutout win and sending his rival to the canvas, Harrison lacked ideas at different stages of the fight and was fortunate not to surrender at least two of the six completed sessions.
Elsewhere, Northern Ireland’s big name pair of Paul McCloskey and Carl Frampton continued their push toward world glory.
McCloskey, 33, was arguably drinking in a last chance saloon in terms of world title hopes and he responded, registering a wide points decision over American Manuel Perez.
The former European title holder looked in command at different stages of the fight, however his lack of power against top level fighters was once again highly visible.
Frampton, on the other hand, was ruthless in his six round stoppage of former world titlist Steve Molitor. Frampton had his Canadian rival down three times before the fight was waved off before the halfway mark.
Molitor, who beat Britain’s Jason Booth in an IBF super bantamweight title fight two autumns ago, was unable to handle his younger foe’s accuracy and speed and it became quickly apparent that the Commonwealth belt, for which Frampton contended in only his 15th fight, was set to stay in Belfast.