Stacey sings Mitchell's praises

Pop star Stacey Solomon will make sure Kevin Mitchell has the X-Factor when he faces Michael Katsidis on 15 May at the Boleyn Ground.

The 20-year-old, who rocketed to fame after making the final of last year's The X-Factor, will sing the national anthem before the big fight, and demonstrated a handy right hook when she met up with Mitchell recently.

Solomon is the latest celebrity to back Mitchell in his big showdown with the big-punching Australian, following actor Ray Winstone, Academy graduate and England star Joe Cole and punk band The Cockney Rejects. Solomon was put through her paces by Mitchell at the Peacock Gym, Canning Town, during a break from his training camp.

The Interim WBO world lightweight title challenger welcomed the support of his fellow Dagenham resident. "It's an honour Stacey will be singing God Save the Queen for me," said Mitchell. "She's got a great voice - and like most Dagenham girls she can whack a bit as well.."

Solomon revealed she is a massive Mitchell fan. "I'd heard a lot about Kevin and we know the same people, us both coming from Dagenham," she said. "Ever since I was asked to sing the national anthems, I've been watching his fights. I can't believe how hard he punches. He's definitely got the X-Factor and I think he'll become a world champion."

On his preparations for the fight, Mitchell added: "Everything is going great and I've got a game plan to beat Katsidis. I was down at West Ham on Saturday and the place was buzzing after we got the win to keep us in the Premier League. Everyone is on a high right now, and hopefully that will carry on into my fight."

Seats are going fast for 'Hammer Time', headlined by the Mitchell-Katsidis fight, with the packed undercard including the British and Commonwealth heavyweight championship bout between Danny Williams and Sam Sexton.

Olympic Gold medallist James DeGale is also on the bill as he challenges for the first title in his career - the WBA international super-middleweight championship along with unbeaten heavyweight star Derek Chisora; and Britain's hottest young prospects Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders.

Tickets for 'Hammer Time', priced at £30, £40, £50, £80, £150, £200 & £250, are available now. Call the box office now on 0871 222 2700.

Scott Parker