Preview: Lee Purdy, Kevin Mitchell, Martin Murray fight at ExCel Arena

Sports Mole previews Matchroom Sport's Christmas show at London's Excel Arena, which is headlined by Lee Purdy's welterweight clash with Leonard Bundu for the European title.

After a couple of disappointing weeks for British boxing, Matchroom Sport host a 16-fight event at the ExCel Arena on Saturday evening as some of England's rising stars attempt to end 2013 on a positive note.

The card is headlined by Lee Purdy's attempt to win the European welterweight title off Italian Leonard Bundu, while Kevin Mitchell will be hoping to move a step closer to a second world title opportunity against Karim El Ouazghari.

Middleweight Martin Murray will be keen to overcome months of frustration against Sergey Khomitsky, while there will also be appearances from Anthony Ogogo and Jamie McDonnell.

Below, Sports Mole previews the headline bouts, while taking a look at the main encounters on a packed undercard.


Lee Purdy waits to fight Devon Alexander before their IBF Welterweight Title fight at Boardwalk Hall Arena on May 18, 2013© Getty Images
1. Purdy vs. Bundu

Earlier this year, Purdy overcome Cosme Rivera to edge a step closer to a world title shot, but within 10 weeks of his previous encounter, the Essex boxer was stepping into the ring with IBF champion Devon Alexander.

It was an opportunity that had come too soon for Purdy, but it was one that he couldn't turn down. The welterweight competed gamely with the classy American, before he was inevitably stopped shortly after the midway point of the fight.

After failing to make the weight for his Stateside debut, Purdy has promised that he is in the "best shape of his life" for his tussle with Bundu, and he will have to be to wrestle the European strap away from the Italian's waist.

The 39-year-old is unbeaten in 31 fights, and although Purdy has age on his side, this match is definitely a step up for someone who is looking to move up from domestic level.


British boxer Kevin Mitchell in action against Ricky Burns on September 22, 2012© Getty Images
2. Mitchell vs. El Ouazghari

Mitchell has long been regarded as one of Great Britain's most talented fighters, but a lack of commitment away from the ring has hindered his previous two attempts to make the breakthrough on the world scene.

The Londoner has easily been stopped by Michael Katsidis and Ricky Burns, but two confident performances have moved Mitchell into a strong position to launch a pursuit of the IBF lightweight title.

The 29-year-old hasn't been helped by a late change of opponent, but the Brit should have too much for the limited Spaniard.

He has indicated that he is targeting a stoppage victory on Saturday evening, and if he can achieve that, an encounter with Miguel Vasquez might not be too far around the corner.


World Boxing Council middleweight challenger Martin Murray of Britain waves before the title bout against defending champion Sergio 'Maravilla' Martinez of Argentina on April 27, 2013© Getty Images
3. Murray vs. Khomitsky

Murray has endured a frustrating time in trying to hit back from his world title defeat to Sergio Martinez in April.

The 31-year-old is regarded as Britain's top fighter in a competitive middleweight division, and the Mancunian is targeting a second assault at world honours in 2014.

However, he can't look past his encounter with Khomitsky, whom he previously defeated in 2009 in his 17th professional fight.

The Belarusian will be keen to avenge his previous loss, but Murray should have too much ability to earn the win against the 39-year-old.

Undercard

Olympic bronze medallist Ogogo will be keen to make an impression on his return to action in a six-round encounter with Dan Blackwell.

Ogogo had been scheduled to feature on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather's showdown with Saul Alvarez before suffering an injury, but the middleweight will be hoping to channel that frustration in a positive manner at the ExCel Arena.

Former IBF bantamweight champion McDonnell is back in action just three weeks after beating Bernand Inom, but he should easily dispatch of Spaniard Abigail Medina.

British super-middleweight titlist Paul Smith will also be hoping to better his record of 33 wins from 36 bouts with a dominant performance over Jamie Ambler in an eight-round contest.


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