By Derek Bonnett
On November 17, 2012, America’s favored heavyweight contender Seth Mitchell took on Jonathon Banks at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City , New Jersey, USA. Banks the newly appointed full-time trainer to Wladimir Klitschko in the wake of the passing of Emanuel Steward, prepared for the bout whilst training the heavyweight champion for a November 10 bout against Mariusz Wach. Mitchell, a former Michigan State University linebacker, went into the bout as a likely challenger for Klitschko in 2013.
Mitchell, 242, known as “Mayhem” by his fans, took control of the opening frame behind a quick jab and a consistent 1-2 attack. Banks appeared stunned by an overhand right in the opening minute, but the wily veteran retaliated with some left hand counters of his own. Mitchell started attacking the body in the second, but was quickly hurt by Banks and dropped with a right hand to start the second round. After a series of wild exchanges, Banks again dropped Mitchell with a right hand. After rising on unsteady legs, Mitchell looked only to survive as Banks battered him back to the canvas for the final knockdown as referee Eddie Cotton called a halt to the action at the 2:37 mark of the round.
Banks raised his dossier to 29-1-1 (19) and lined himself up for a possible heavyweight title fight as he repositioned himself among the top American heavyweights in the division today. Mitchell tasted defeat for the first time as a professional as he dipped to 25-1-1 (19). A match with Wladimir Klitschko now far out of reach in the immediate future, Mitchell joined the ranks of recent American heavyweights to prove ill-prepared for primetime title fight action.
Any notion that Banks was unprepared for his bout with Mitchell due to his focus on preparing the heavyweight champion for Wach can be dismissed as easily as the prospects of Mitchell’s standing as the top-flight American to contend for the title. Banks, arguably, now holds that distinction along with his credentials as the trainer of today’s premiere heavyweight.
Mitchell dismissed the loss to Banks’ crafty counter-punching style and vowed to return to prominence. Banks devouted the win to Emanuel Steward, who he credited with guiding his life since age fifteen.
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