Jayde Mitchell expects Bilal Akkawy fight: “All roads lead to September”

PERENNIAL nice guy Jayde Mitchell is adopting a serious approach to his latest set of challenges.

The popular Peninsula product returns to the ring on Saturday night in a ten round non-title bout against Hungarian veteran Istvan Zeller (37-15, 11 KOs) at the Melbourne Park Function Centre for Victorian promotional entity, Hosking Promotions.

Having mapped out his next two fights, which will take place over the course of the next two months, Mitchell (13-1, 7 KOs) is hoping to carry on the form that has seen him score back-to-back stoppage wins so far in 2017, including a career-best win over Les Sherrington in March.

Mitchell, who holds two regional baubles, credits his rich vein of form to his mindset and newly found self-beleief, which has taken his performances to another level.

“I always knew I could do something with boxing and that’s why I have now dedicated my life to it, I’m actually making a believer of myself,” said Mitchell to Aus-Boxing. “I truly believe I can now become a champion. I don’t think people have seen the best of me yet. I now have this self-belief that I can now become a champion.”

“This next fight, I’m not looking past him. I’m looking through him. I’m on a mission – whoever is in my way from here on out – I’m going to go through to get there. A lot of boxers make that call the minute they whack on a pair of gloves. It comes down to self-belief.”

While Zeller could potentially provide Mitchell with some much needed rounds, the 31-year-old instead sees the fight as an opportunity to make a statement. Zeller, 27, took hard-hitting super middleweight prospect Bilal Akkawy the full ten-round distance in 2016, a feat that Mitchell plans to avoid duplicating on Saturday night.

As far as Mitchell is concerned, the fight will serve as a warning to future opponents who take his kindness for weakness.

“Istvan Zeller has fought the likes of Zac Dunn, Michael Zerafa and been the distance with Bilal Akkawy,” he added. “This fight is to prove to everyone I’m world class, I’m going to run through this guy. I’m going to do a number on him to show everyone where I’m at. I’m going to show everyone that with boxing smarts, foot speed and being calculated, that I will take him out.”

Providing Mitchell does dispose of Zeller, he will return to action in July against unbeaten China-based Ainiwaer Yilixiati, before facing the aforementioned Bilal Akkawy in a mouth-watering collision in September. But with the Akkawy fight proving to be little more than speculation at this point, Mitchell is now forced to focus on the immediate task at hand.

However, he is the first to admit that he does have one eye on the world rated Sydney resident.

“I’ve got a fight lined up in July with Ainiwaer Yilixiati, this guy has been after me since I beat Nader Hamdan,” he quipped. “We have continually said no to him because he hasn’t been experienced enough. But to his credit, he has knocked everyone out since and has got himself in a position now where the OPBF has sanctioned the fight and I will be defending my title against him.”

“So for me, I now see it as I have gone from being the hunter to becoming the hunted. I really like the challenge. He is a hungry undefeated fighter that fights like Bilal Akkawy.”

From a business standpoint, boxing is too temperamental of a sport to be able to forecast fights so far in advance. With that in mind, Mitchell and Akkawy hold mandatory status for each others respective regional belts, meaning there is a likelihood that the pair could indeed meet before the year is up.

“If all goes to plan, I’m supposed to be fighting Bilal Akkawy in September,” he concluded. “I’m his mandatory so there is no call-out there, I just want to go to the top. He is rated number twelve or thirteen in the world and he is in my way. If I want to be champion – and I have to go through Bilal Akkawy to do that – well that’s what I will do.”

“We both want the same thing; we both want to be champion. From here on out it gets serious and there is no looking back. If the fight happens, I’m going to be so prepared it. The winner will possibly find themselves in the top ten, there is a lot at stake.”

“For me, all roads lead to September. It’s all up to Bilal if he wants to be in the opposite corner.”

To purchase tickets to ‘Punches at the Park 4’ hosted by Hosking Promotions, please click here.

Photo: Natwick Photography