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24 OCTOBER 2014

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Can Seth Mitchell Be a Heavyweight Hero?


Mitchell tags Ibragimov
Mitchell tags Ibragimov

"Where have all the good men gone/And where are all the gods?/Where’s the street-wise Hercules/To fight the rising odds?"

 

By Derek Bonnett: Bonnie Tyler isn’t alone in needing a hero; American boxing needs one desperately and he must weigh over two hundred pounds. Hasim Rahman and Tony Thompson failed to inspire anything outside of the wildest imaginations prior to their 2012 title fights. These forty-something year old challengers certainly weren’t the best of the American lot, but Chris Arreola and Eddie Chambers had already failed in their attempts to bring a heavyweight title back to the USA as well. The majority of American fans aren’t too hopeful of the prospects of anyone else lining up to pull the sword out of the Ukrainian stones presently entrapping the most significant of the alphabet belts and Alexander Povetkin has done his best to avoid a challenge including facing cruiserweight Marco Huck, who should have beaten him.

 

Right now, about four names are dominating the American heavyweight talk. Deontay Wilder has a glossy record, but is among the most protected prospects in the game today. Franklin Lawrence has a smaller following and is better tested, but lacks the unbeaten record to spark a lot of demand. Bryant Jennings has the moxie and the skills, but with only fifteen fights he’s a little too green for title talk. Seth Mitchell’s name is the most prominently discussed. He’s got the look and the athleticism. He’s unbeaten and possesses big power. After getting rocked in his last showing, he also showed some grit. With Jonathon Banks scheduled as Mitchell’s November 17 opponent at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, boxing pundits should get to see Mitchell’s chin and crunching punch on display in an entertaining bout. Whether or not the 25-0-1 Maryland resident can raise his game a notch or two to inspire serious consideration as a title threat remains to be seen. However, in the present American heavyweight scene, Mitchell is the consensus favorite to end the void. In a division without one or two Klitschko, his chances skyrocket.

 

SecondsOut had the opportunity to reconnect with Seth Mitchell as he prepared for his upcoming contest with Banks, who has been doubling as trainer to Wladimir Klitschko since Manny Steward took ill and eventually passed. Here’s what Mitchell shared with SecondsOut:

 

Derek Bonnett: Seth, give your fans an update on the progress you have made with your hand injury and how it has held up in training.

 

Seth Mitchell: My hand feels great. I was supposed to rest it 6-8 weeks. Due to the postponement of my fight, I had 11-12 weeks of rest. I’ve been hitting the heavy bag and mitts for the last few months and I’m ready to fight.

 

 


DB: Jonathon Banks is an exciting do-or-die type fighter. He’s shown he can get off the canvas to win a bout. How do you expect to be tested?

 

SM: I expect Banks to come prepared to win and to use his boxing abilities.

 

DB: Some say "a win is a win" in the sport of boxing, but this is another HBO appearance for you. What type of statement do you feel entitled to make on their airwaves?

 

SM: I understand that this is an entertainment business and I expect to do what I’ve been doing in the ring.

 

DB: This bout is being billed as a WBC semi-final eliminator. Do you think Vitali Klitschko will be around to grant a title shot to the eventual winner or do you think a vacant title will be on the line?

 

SM: I think Vitali will retire soon, and I’m not sure what the WBC has planned.

 

DB: This will be your second fight in a row in Atlantic City. How do you feel about the environment of this fight town?

 

SM: I like fighting in Atlantic City. It’s like a home away from home for me. The crowd is energetic and is the fans are knowledgeable about the sport of boxing.

 

DB: Since turning professional, you have consistently weighed in around the low 240 range. What do you think is an optimal weight for you to perform at against a naturally smaller man in Banks?

 

SM: The low 240s is my optimal weight. I feel good and comfortable at that weight.

 

DB: Your fellow contender Kubrat Pulev has begun to separate himself from the pack of young contenders. What do you have to do to keep pace with the best in the division?

 

SM: I just have to continue to do what I’ve been doing, and that’s winning. I also have to look impressive in doing so.

 

DB: Bryant Jennings is another American heavyweight prospect, who was seeking a bout with fellow unbeaten Deontay Wilder. Is it more important for you to face young peers or experienced veterans at this stage of your progression?

 

SM: It is important for me to face opponents that will get me ready to face the best in the sport. It doesn’t really matter if they are young or veteran boxers if they will help me become prepared.

 

DB: Other thoughts or news from Team Mitchell?

 

SM: Check out “2 Days” on HBO, featuring me and my team. Follow me on Twitter at @SethMayhem48 and please keep me in your prayers. Thank you for your time today and your support.

 

For further boxing discourse, contact Derek DBO Bonnett on Facebook or at mabfan@comcast.net. 

 



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