Rusty Mitchell labours to win as Dagenham Destroyer returns to the ring at York Hall
Kevin Mitchell returned to the ring with an unconvincing points win over Felix Lora at a packed York Hall in London.
On the canvas: Kevin Mitchell stands over Felix Lora after knocking him down
Lora, also 27, came in to the fight with a less than impressive 14-8-5 record but Mitchell had been prepared for a tough ten rounds.
Afters: Mitchell and Lora squared up as their fight got heated at York Hall
The fight came to life in the second round when Lora was down again, this time from a smart left hand. He survived the count however and Mitchell was unable to finish his man there and then.
The York Hall crowd had been slightly muted to this stage but roared the home favourite on at the start of the seventh. The expected fireworks failed to materialise however although Lora did end the round with a bloodied nose.
Putting the pressure on: Mitchell has Lora on the ropes
If Mitchell was expecting his opponent to tire, he was disappointed as Lora landed several right hands in the eighth round. Both men shook off the shackles briefly but again it was Lora who landed the more telling blows.
Mitchell did land a superb left hook in the penultimate round as the exertions of his rival seemed to begin to take their toll before the fight threatened to turn into a tear-up in the last as both fighters sought to impress with Mitchell finishing the stronger.
Boxing clever: Kevin Mitchell lines Lora up for a shot
And the crowd rose to acclaim their winner as Mitchell was declared the victor by a score of 98-92.
The Dagenham man had hoped to use this fight as a stepping stone to a summer showdown with Scotland's WBO champion Ricky Burns and while he still has that fight in mind, Mitchell is expected to be back in the ring on the undercard of George Groves' British and Commonwealth super-middleweight title defence at Wembley Arena on March 16.
Getting the shots away: Bradley Saunders lands a punch on Jason Nesbitt
After a disappointing Games in Beijing in 2008, Saunders, 25, opted to remain amateur but his plans to compete in London were derailed by injury.
Undefeated: Frank Buglioni (right) was taken the distance by Ryan Clark
Elsewhere, Enfield's Frankie Buglioni, 22, was taken beyond the first round for the first time in his short professional career by Ryan Clark.
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