Britain's Kevin Mitchell has vowed to knock out Jorge Linares when they meet for the Venezuelan's WBC lightweight title at London's O2 Arena on Saturday.
Mitchell, 30, is challenging for a world title for a second time, having lost to Scotland's Ricky Burns in 2012. Linares, 29, is a three-weight world champion but has been stopped three times in 41 professional fights. "Linares is on the slide, 100%. I promise you I'm going to knock this kid out," Mitchell told BBC Sport.
While Mitchell came in under the 135lb lightweight limit at Friday's weigh-in, the champion scaled 4oz over. He returned to the stage an hour later and was comfortably under. "Four years ago he was great but he was always suspect around the chin," added Mitchell. "He's been chinned a couple of times at lightweight, which is big encouragement for me, and his last six fights [which included five knockouts] haven't been against great opposition.
#"You've got to be cautious against a world-class operator like him but I don't think he's got enough power to bother me. "When I'm on form, there's nothing wrong with my chin. He'll be tricky, he'll be fast and cautious for the first four or five rounds. But when I get hold of him he will go down." Linares has 38 wins from 41 paid fights and won the vacant WBC belt with a fourth-round knockout of Mexico's Javier Prieto last December. Londoner Mitchell has 39 wins and two losses from 41 paid fights, his other defeat coming against Australian Michael Katsidis in 2010.
Mitchell has spoken candidly about his struggles with alcohol abuse and credits trainer Tony Sims with helping him get his career back on track.