Kevin Mitchell looked sensational last Saturday evening as he dispatched a previously durable world level opponent in eight rounds at the O2 arena, London. The unfortunate victim was Daniel Estrada, the rugged Mexican who was coming off the back of a stoppage loss to Omar Figueroa, and he looked very flat right from the off. However, this does not detract from the exceptional performance that Mitchell displayed – he punched with vicious intent, throwing beautiful combinations at a static target and as a result now stands on the verge of another crack at a lightweight world title with WBC world champion Jorge Linares firmly in his sights.
The British lightweight scene has had the potential to be the most exciting division in Britain in recent years but the obvious spark has never really caught light at world level. However, I think that the British Invasion (if it is to ever occur) has to take place in 2015 due to the age of the fighters who are on the cusp of world title fights.
The difference between now and the last few years is that multiple British lightweights are chasing world honours but more importantly, they are all chasing honours with differing governing bodies.
British boxing fans are standing on the verge of potentially gaining three world champions in 2015… In one division: Derry Matthews has a WBA title challenge against Richar Abril, Kevin Mitchell is honing in on a WBC title shot, Eddie Hearn and Al Haymon’s current BFF status and the impending announcement about Ricky Burns ‘massive’ US fight leads me to believe he will move back to lightweight to fight the current IBF champion Mickey Bey.
Don’t get me wrong, all of the above fights are extremely difficult tasks for the Brits and none of the fights are gimmes (two of the three fights are still hypothetical scenarios) however, just imagine if all three fighters were to win world titles with differing governing bodies – there would be some massive domestic unification fights to be made.
Add to this Tommy Coyle and Luke Campbell chomping at the bit to surpass domestic level and the impending return of Anthony Crolla, who just so happens to be ranked No.2 with the fourth governing body (WBO) and current champion Terrence Crawford due to move up a weight class, the future is looking bright for the British lightweight division.
The only question that remains is: are they capable of invading and laying down a British flag on the lightweight world scene?