HF Media Exclusive: Kevin Mitchell on how retirement life is treating him and more
I had the pleasure and opportunity earlier this week to speak to former British and Commonwealth super featherweight champion and former world title challenger, Kevin ‘The Hammer’ Mitchell.
Mitchell hung up the gloves in 2016 with a record of 39-4, with 29 of his wins ending via KO and mixed it with the very best in his weight class. Starting out his career at super featherweight, Mitchell took the step up to lightweight where he picked up the WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title in a war against Columbia’s Breidis Prescott.
He then fought twice for the WBO World lightweight title but agonisingly came up short against Ricky Burns in Glasgow and Michael Katsidis two years prior at Upton Park. He then had his last crack at world glory against Jorge Linares in London for the WBC World lightweight title but despite fighting his heart out, he sadly came up short. Nevertheless, Mitchell’s career was one that any boxer would dream of due to the fighters Mitchell fought, the titles he picked up and the packed out venues he fought at.
Kevin talked to me on what it was like to fight at Upton Park being a huge West Ham fan, what it was like mixing it at world level, how retirement life is treating him and tips for upcoming fighters.
What was it like fighting at a packed out Upton Park, given you are a massive West Ham United fan?
“It was overwhelming to be honest. At that time I was the only fighter selling out football crowd seat arenas. It was an unbelievable experience and that night even though I boxed rubbish it was still unreal to fight at Upton Park.”
What was it like boxing at world level and challenging for world titles?
“Fighting at world level when I was prepared properly was a joy, but at the same time don’t get me wrong it was a very hard thing to sustain as it’s training at a night intensity day in day out and being one of the last old school fighters that sold tickets in pubs and around that environment made it difficult for me. It was very high intensity”
How is retirement life? Ventured into any new hobbies?
“Retirement life is good thanks and my new hobby or passion is coaching fighters. It’s basically a friend of mine has really helped me out and done a gym and restaurant. I’m lucky that’s all I can say.”
If you could give one tip to an aspiring boxer what would it be?
“I would say work hard, stay dedicated and don’t let anything interrupt your boxing”
Mitchell has certainly had some amazing experiences within the sport of boxing that he and certainly us boxing fans will never forget. It is nice to see him giving back to the sport he loves by sharing his own knowledge on the game to those fighters that he is coaching to then help them improve on their skills and abilities.
Written by Harry Twort