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The pay dispute that could force Kevin Mitchell into retirement

Former British and Commonwealth Champion Kevin Mitchell could quit the ring if he isn't offered more money

Posted Feb 23, 2011 by Shaun Edwards

Kevin Mitchell

Former British boxing champ Kevin Mitchell is considering throwing in the towel over a pay row with his promoter Frank Warren.

Mitchell was provisionally scheduled to fight lightweight champion boxer John Murray on 2nd April but the boxer won’t agree to the fee being offered.

Mitchell told his fans via Facebook that he was turning down the fight because of ‘politics’ however Warren counters this saying that it isn’t about politics it is just about the money. Frank Warren said on his website that he offered Mitchell a good package and although it’s the boxer’s right to turn down a fight he is disappointed because he was confident he could have delivered the winner of the fight on April 2nd a world title fight in the summer.

It has been mooted that the fee Mitchell has been offered is less than half the purse offered to him for his last bout versus Aussie Michael Katsidis. Many suspect that Mitchell has come to the realisation that his boxing career isn’t going to last forever and so he is looking to maximise his income now in order to set himself up for the future.

As Frank Warren points out, Mitchell is in a way cutting his nose off to spite his face because if the fight doesn’t go ahead, nobody gets paid. It must have been a frustrating and difficult decision for Mitchell to have made because he is currently tied into contract for five fights organised by Frank Warren’s promotion company which means that he is under a binding agreement that prevents him from going elsewhere.

Mitchell has said that he won’t box unless the money is improved but if neither party budges then it would mean the 26 year old has nowhere else to go and would be forced into retirement despite being in his prime. It would be a shame if Mitchell did make this decision because he has become very popular amongst boxing fans having notched up 31 wins in 32 fights – the only fight he has lost in his professional career was against Katsidis last year which saw Mitchell spend nearly 12 months away from boxing because of the impact the Aussie’s punches had on Mitchell’s eyesight.

Many in the boxing world recognise Warren as the man who has forged Mitchell’s career, helping him onto his British and Commonwealth title and obviously this dispute over pay could threaten what has been a strong working relationship between the two. A source from within Mitchell’s camp protested that Kevin remains personally loyal to Frank and that this isn’t personal it is strictly a business matter.

It remains to be seen whether either side will back down but I doubt that Mitchell will opt for full retirement over this incident, the boxer has two young children and having been injured twice in the last 12 months the 26-year-old must surely be thinking about life after boxing and ensuring his financial security.

Warren is prepared to bury the matter saying that if he still wants the fight then the contract is there, the renowned boxing promoter said it would be a great shame to see Mitchell retire.

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