Joshua vs Whyte: Kevin Mitchell suffers stoppage defeat against Ismael Barroso
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 13/12/15 9:28am
Kevin Mitchell's world title dreams have been shattered after a fifth round stoppage defeat by Ismael Barroso.
The east Londoner was hoping to land a third world title shot against WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla, but could be forced to seriously consider his future after this brutal loss to the Venezuelan at The O2 in London.
Crolla watched his domestic rival's defeat from ringside and will instead face Barroso, who menacingly showed his status as the danger man of the division.
Barroso brought a puncher's reputation and gave a glimpse of his power in the opening round when a left hand rocked Mitchell onto his heels.
Adopting a back-foot approach, Mitchell measured up his opponent in the second and found his range with a classy left hook.
But Barroso gave a reminder of his threat in the third as he briefly trapped Mitchell on the ropes and unloaded clubbing punches.
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Mitchell had more cause for concern in the fourth when referee Howard Foster ruled a knockdown, despite a tangle of legs.
But there could be no complaints as Mitchell was floored two more times and was halted in a disastrous fifth round.
A jolting jab from Barroso dumped the Dagenham man heavily onto the canvas and he clambered unsteadily to his feet.
Sensing the end was near, Barroso piled more punches on the shaken Mitchell, and referee Foster immediately waved it off when Mitchell wilted to the canvas.