Heavyweight hope Seth Mitchell has revealed that although he is looking forward to facing Johnathon Banks in a rematch at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on February 16, he has also admitted that his first professional defeat was a ‘tough pill to swallow’.
Mitchell, 25-1-1-(19), was stopped inside two rounds by his fellow American at the same venue in New Jersey last November and he offers no excuses for the defeat but he insists he is focused and ready to rematch Banks on February 16.
“It was a tough defeat for me,” admits Mitchell. “Mentally and physically I was fine after the fight, but just experiencing that first loss it was a tough pill to swallow, but I tell people it’s a gift. I’ve been in the game for, actually, yesterday was six years all together amateur and pro, so I’m learning on the job, but I’m a quick learner and I definitely learned a lot from that (Banks) fight.”
Leading up to the fight Bank’s legendry trainer and father figure Emanuel Steward died. Some people within the sport felt Banks’ victory was motivated all the more by the loss of Steward but Mitchell is not convinced.
“A lot of people said Emanuel Steward had a lot to do with the fight and things of that nature,” said Mitchell.
“I don’t really look too much into that because I said if I had gone out there and I had blown Johnathon Banks out in the first round people would have said, well, he had a lot on his plate and things of that nature, so I learned a lot. I’m excited for this fight. I’ve been in training camp basically since December. I’ve been training so I’m very focused for the fight.
Mitchell added: “Again, I want to thank Johnathon for accepting the fight and I’m definitely looking forward to the fight and looking forward to a difference. I tell people I’m fighting at the same time, same venue, same opponent, just a different outcome this time. So, I’m definitely looking forward to putting on another great fight for the fans and I’m excited.”
In reply Banks replied: “I look forward to the rematch. As always, my hat continuously pulls off to Seth Mitchell because he always shows a lot of character, which is something I personally admire in fighters because a lot of fighters don’t do that. So, I personally just want to take my hat off to him, as always.
“And I know he’s going to come back stronger. I know he’s going to come back even more prepared than the first time and I’m really looking forward to a good competitive fight.”
Reflecting back on the first fight back in November Mitchell realises he may have been a little too aggressive and knows he will have to settle himself down more for the rematch: “We had a great game plan going into the fight, but as I watched the fight tape(afterwards), even though hands down I won the first round, my balance and my distance were terrible in that fight,” said Mitchell. “And I got a little overzealous, audacious, so just patience and I’m definitely working on my balance and my distance and it’s just a learning process, but I’m a sponge, man, and learning lessons sometimes you’ve got to get knocked down to grow.
“In my case you’ve got to get knocked down three times. And I’ve got to say it was a tough pill to swallow, but it definitely made me a better fighter and we’ve just been working on my eyes and my balance and my distance, just not being so aggressive naturally. If you know me, when it comes to competing I’m a pit bull; I’m very aggressive, but I’ve just got to learn how to channel that and use it and do it at the right time.”
January 15, 2013