Photo: Lawrence Lustig
The three-weight world champion was defending his belt for the first time but Mitchell – boxing sharply and confidently – looked set to take it from him, dropping the champion in the fifth. Linares was dazed and took his time regaining his feet, but by the end of the session he appeared to have recovered and was firing back.
Terrible damage to Mitchell’s left eye hampered his attempts to win a world title at the third attempt, and when Linares dropped him in the 10th, referee Victor Loughlin stopped the contest with just three seconds left in the round – with Mitchell ahead on two cards and level on another.
The stoppage, though, was fair. Mitchell could hardly see and the grotesque swelling above his eye was ripping his cut face wide open. A truly spellbinding fight.