Beefit meets Kevin Mitchell

Earlier this week BEEFit spoke to Kevin Mitchell ahead of his fight at the O2 on Saturday against Ismael Barroso for the WBA interim lightweight title.

How's the training gone, Kevin?

It's been going well, I'm in really good shape.

Looking at the fight this weekend against Barroso, on paper it seems like a dangerous fight, he's certainly a big puncher.

Yes, it is. The Prescott fight was similar as well, he's not reached the high level that I'm used to but he's still dangerous. I've got to have my wits about me because he’s capable of landing a good shot. The key is when he misses or makes a wrong move, I'll make him pay and hurt him.

Going through his record, he's got an interim title but not many recognisable names. Are you feeling confident?

Absolutely, I'm very confident and in great shape and being looked after well by my coach Tony Simms – he's like a father figure to me and gives me great advice. I look up to him.

What's going to be the game plan this weekend?

Don't get hit! In all seriousness, make him work because when he's working hard he's not resting. When he goes away for a breather, I'll make sure he's under pressure and in range to keep him moving.

It's an exciting time to be a British lightweight at the moment. Do you know what Eddie Hearn has planned for you – a fight with Crolla perhaps?

Definitely. Ninety days after Saturday, he'll have to fight me so that's the next big thing.

On the flip side, the Linares fight was a disappointing one but you're the sort to dust yourself down and get back on with it, aren't you?

Of course, you’ve got no other choice.

Do you fancy a rematch with him some time?

Definitely - I want the world title first then I'll pull him into a rematch.

Do you think you've got the beating of Crolla?

100%.

You've also got Terry Flanagan, which is a bit more complicated. Who do you rate as the stronger champion?

I'd say I'd put them right at the same level. I think they're right at the top and would give anyone a hard fight. Having said that, I believe I'm the biggest in my weight division.

Let's talk about the fight on Saturday. Are you bringing a good crowd with you?

I'll have a good crowd from Dagenham and East Ham coming along to support me.

What do you think of the Joshua fight?

He's talking a good game but I think Joshua will knock him out in one or two rounds. I work with Anthony Joshua quite a lot and I've been around a lot of heavyweights in my lifetime, 21/22 years now, and I've never seen anyone like him. He's an athlete and I've seen a lot of athletes at a lighter weight but I've never seen that sort of athlete at heavyweight. I can't see it going past one or two rounds.

When you've seen Joshua in training, is he quick?

He's ridiculously quick, as quick as me, which for his size is very impressive.

Do you feel British boxing is really flying at the moment?

Yes. This last year has been a bit of a boom and boxing is back to the old days. For me, I've been a pro in this era and enjoying my last couple of years in it. To be able to stay involved in boxing is great – in the last 10-15 we've had a lot of young boxers come through Team GB going in to professional boxing so it's very exciting.

Talking about boxing more widely, we can't talk boxing without talking about Tyson Fury.

You know what, I'm friends with Tyson and we do like a chat. He's not your typical champion of the world. Klitschko is boring and Tyson is not. All the papers were talking about Tyson's trash talk but as long as no harms done, no madness or craziness then it's absolutely fine. Klitschko acts by the book and to be honest, it's boring.

Heavyweight champions always seem to come in opposites don't they?

Not being funny, when you get heavyweight champions of the world that are boring, it's not good. I could never be that way and I can promise that. Tyson is a little bit crazy and wild, but when you meet him he's not trying to be someone he's not. If he tries to be more good and proper, he'd be acting more stupidly.

Has he got your vote for SPOTY?

Of course he does. He's won the world title, 6 months ago people had no idea who he was, now everyone in the world knows who he is.

Is Tyson's success good just not for boxing but also the traveller community?

It's great for the community and for sport in general to have a heavyweight champion of the world who is British.

Finally Kevin, we've got to ask you about West Ham – do you think they'll reach the Champions League this year?

Definitely, I think we're flying. We've had a couple of poor games but I feel we're on it. Bilic is doing really well and long may it continue. I think we're playing really well.