Fighters weigh-in

Kevin 'The Hammer' Mitchell and Michael 'The Gladiator' Katsidis have gone head-to-head for the final time before their Interim WBO world lightweight title clash at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday night.

Mitchell was cheered on by around 150 supporters as he weighed-in 1lb below the 9st 9lbs limit in the stadium's Legends Lounge - adorned with lifesize images of heroes such as Bobby Moore, Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds.

Australian Katsidis, meanwhile, received some good-natured heckling as he tipped the scales at 9st 8lbs 6oz.


The two combatants then went nose-to-nose, with the unbeaten Mitchell (31-0) fixing champion Katsidis (26-2-1) with a steely stare as the pair stood just inches apart.

Fittingly for an event being held in a football ground, the crowd erupted into a chorus of 'One Kevin Mitchell' in support of the West Ham United-supporting, Dagenham-based boxer.

Promoter Frank Warren said the 'Hammer Time' show, which will also feature the British heavyweight title showdown between Danny Williams and Derek Chisora and Olympic gold medallist James DeGale, had caught the imagination of the east London public.

"All the fighters and fight fans are really up for it. This is history. There's never been a live fight at Upton Park. It's something all East End fighters dream about and, when you think about all the history of boxing in east London, it's one of the hotbeds of boxing in the UK and Kevin Mitchell is doing something none of them have ever done before.

"We're at the Mecca of sport in east London. I'm delighted to be part of it and I'm really pleased for Kevin. I think we might have a bit of a classic here.

"I think it's going to be a tough night. Katsidis is someone who comes to the ring dressed up as gladiator and that's how he fights. He doesn't give an inch and won't give up at all.

"Kevin has got a fighter's heart, that's how he is. He's matured a lot over the last year or so, as far as his boxing is concerned, and if he can keep all that together then he can win this fight. It's going to be a war, though, there's no doubt about it.

"We've got a good crowd coming. There will be a tremendous atmosphere. West Ham thankfully got themselves safe from relegation and hopefully Kevin can add to that.

"This is the start of something big. If Kevin comes through this, we can be doing this here on a regular basis. He's a likeable kid, he's a great fighter and people get behind him."

The 26-year-old Chisora (11-0) and 36-year-old Williams (41-8) both flexed their muscles as they took to the scales before exchanging a few pleasantries during their own nose-to-nose encounter.

Danny Williams

Indeed, such was the level of feeling between them that the two giants had to be separated by security staff.

At 19st 7lbs Williams, who knocked out Mike Tyson a decade ago, weighed-in at more than two stones heavier than Chisora's 17st 6lbs.

The smiling DeGale will box for his first professional title when he takes on Sam Horton for the vacant WBA international super-middleweight belt, while fellow Olympians Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders will also be in action.

In total, a mouth-watering 12 bouts will take place on what promises to be an unforgettable night of boxing.

Tickets, priced at £30, £40, £50, £80, £150, £200 and £250, are still available online or by calling 0871 222 2700.