EBU give Kevin Mitchell ‘special derogation’ to challenge Edis Tatli

Phil Jay 18/01/2016

Briton Kevin Mitchell is set to challenge Edis Tatli for the European lightweight title despite having lost his last two outings.

The 31 year-old has been stopped by world-rated stars Jorge Linares and Ismael Barroso since claiming the WBC silver title in January 2015 and was thought to be facing an uncertain future.

The European Boxing Union have thrown Mitchell a lifeline though and the Londoner is now lined up for a first attempt at the 135lb Continental strap opposite the Kosovo-born Finn in the coming months.

“It is true that Kevin Mitchell will fight for the European title,” EBU General Secretary Enza Jacoponi exclusively told World Boxing News.

“The fight against Edis Tatli will be disputed on 19th March due to special derogation of the EBU Board towards Mitchell being the next challenger.”

Details of the contest are yet to made official by Mitchell’s promoter Eddie Hearn, although home advantage would seem to make the most viable financial sense for the current champion.

Tatli, 28, has lost just once in 26 contests – a world title bid against talented Cuban Richar Abril in September 2014, but has only ventured out of his native Finland once in eight years as a pro.

Winning the EBU belt by defeating Yvan Mendy in just under a year ago, Tatli is yet to put the title on the line and could well go into a clash with Mitchell as the underdog due to a lack of world-class opponents throughout his career.