Hammer blow from Mitchell

West Ham United fan Kevin Mitchell underlined his status as one of the country's leading boxers with a stunning performance on Saturday night.

The Dagenham boxer, with crossed Hammers on his trunks, floored Colombian challenger Ignacio Mendoza after a minute and a half of the second round of their lightweight bout at Wembley Arena. It has set up the possibility of a world title bid this summer against Michael Katsidis, the highly-rated Australian.

Dad of two Mitchell is a lifelong Hammers supporter and dreams of one day selling-out a fight at his beloved Boleyn Ground. "All my family are West Ham fans and I first went to Upton Park as a kid, I was probably about eight. It was long before I started boxing.

"My Dad was a mad West Ham fan, in fact when we last won the FA Cup in 1980, he went to every game that season home and away, so I was always destined to be a West Ham fan.

"The last game I got down to was the League Cup tie with Millwall. It is hard for me to get over to Upton Park although one of my ambitions is to have my own box. Of the current squad I'm friends with Mark Noble and he comes to some of my fights."

Mitchell's favourite player of all-time is Julian Dicks - an unsurprising choice for the 25-year-old given he is a former left-back himself from his own playing days. "He was a hard so and so, that's what I used to like about him. If I had been a footballer I would like to have been exactly like him.

"When I was growing up I was aggressive and whenever I played football I used to like to think of myself as a Julian Dicks-type of player. I actually had trials at West Ham. My PE teacher at school was a guy called Dave Knowles and he used to come over to West Ham's training ground the whole time, so quite a few of us had trials.

"With Julian Dicks being my hero, it won't surprise you to learn that I played at left-back. As I got older everyone used to slaughter me saying that I wasn't good enough to be a professional. They told me I'd get nowhere." It's a different matter when it comes to boxing, of course.