English lightweight Kevin Mitchell registered a stunning eighth round KO over previously undefeated John Murray in Liverpool, Saturday, to re-establish himself as a serious title contender.
In his first outing since a crushing loss to Michael Katsidis 14 months ago, Mitchell (32-1, 24 knockouts), from Dagenham, Essex, upset the odds in a cracking WBO intercontinental scrap against countryman Murray (31-1, 18 KO’s).
Murray, of Manchester, seemed to have the edge and extra power in the early exchanges only for Mitchell to respond with a stream of ferocious, punishing attacks that left his rival battered and bloodied.
The bell saved Murray at the end of the seventh but the reprieve was short-lived. He was sent crashing in the next round before the referee called a halt after 1 minute and 46 seconds.
“This shows I am back. I am perfect. Next comes the world title,” said 26-year-old Mitchell, who could now face WBA titleholder Brandon Rios later in the year.