Michael Katsidis Stops Kevin Mitchell

Michael Katsidis retained his WBO interim lightweight championship belt, stopping previously undefeated Kevin Mitchell at the raucous Upton Park on May 15. Katsidis delivered telling blows in the third round, silencing the 15,000 people who cheered their fellow east Londoner Mitchell.

Katsidis was on the attack from the start, forcing Mitchell to backpedal while occasionally throwing jabs. The first two rounds had Katsidis scoring at will against Mitchell, who earned the right to fight for the interim title by defeating Breidis Prescott in December. Feeding off the energetic fans, Katsidis tagged Mitchell with two crisp left hooks at the start of the third round. Mitchell responded by hitting Katsidis with strong rights that failed to have any significant effect on the Australian.

However, those rights turned out to be Mitchell’s last hurrah as he was hit by a strong left from Katsidis that stunned him. Sensing blood, Katsidis landed several combinations, which Mitchell was unable to elude, forcing referee Dave Paris to stop the fight at the 1:57 mark of the third round. The victory was the fourth-straight for Katsidis after absorbing his only defeats against Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz in 2008. Mitchell, on the other hand, received his first loss after winning his first 31 fights.