Boxing Forums banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Anon.
1,562 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seth Mitchell Exclusive. Defeat and Redemption


By @John_Evans79

As the UK's search for a heavyweight capable of unseating the Klitschko brothers becomes ever more complicated, there is an eerily similar hunt taking place across the Atlantic.

For David Price and Tyson Fury read Seth Mitchell and Deontay Wilder. Six months ago, Price and Mitchell were seen as the sure things of an exciting generation of young heavyweight vying to succeed the Klitschko's whilst Fury and Wilder were seen as the exciting but vulnerable wildcards. Boxing would be boring if it were so predictable.

Two high profile stoppage defeats later, Price and Mitchell must rebuild and Fury and Wilder are being touted as the division's big hopes. In the fickle world of boxing last years probables have become this years possibles.

He may have entered the sport with relatively little experience but Mitchell, 25-1 (19), is getting a crash course in the intricacies of modern professional boxing.

The heavy handed 30 year old from Maryland rose to prominence by recording a series of exciting knockouts and encountered the hype only an aggressive, unbeaten American heavyweight can generate. Then - last November - Mitchell entered the ring to fight Jonathon Banks.

Five minutes and 37 seconds later, Mitchell had lost his '0' and his status as America's 'man most likely'. In subsequent months, his losing run has continued. The opportunity of an immediate rematch slipped away as Banks suffered a broken thumb in training and HBO's decision to dispense with the services of Golden Boy Promotions means that - for the time being - Mitchell is without a TV deal.

"It's frustrating that fights keep getting postponed. You prepare hard for a fight and then something happens and you have to delay," Mitchell told me recently. "It's part of boxing though. I have to deal with it, stay in shape and stay ready for when my name is called.

"I don't think it'll affect me [the TV situation]. As long as I take care of business in my next fight I'll still get on the networks and I believe it'll be Showtime from now on. I was surprised when I heard the statement that HBO made but I don't have anything bad to say about them. I had a lot of fun fighting on their network and they're good people. It was good while it lasted and we'll see what the future holds but right now I believe my next fight will be with Showtime and I'm looking forward to it.

"From what I hear all roads still lead to the rematch [with Banks]. I'm preparing for it and excited about it and I believe that fight will take place sometime in June."

An immediate rematch allows Mitchell to instantly redeem himself. The alternative is to constantly have the name Jonathon Banks hovering over everything he does, no matter how impressive.

"My sentiments exactly," he agrees. "Jonathon Banks did what he had to do that night and I definitely learned a lot from the fight. The important thing is that I didn't make any excuses. I didn't say it was a lucky punch or anything like that, I just said 'let's do it again! I want a rematch right now.' That's the type of fighter and person that I am."

Price also gets his shot at redemption on July 6th when he faces his conqueror Tony Thompson in a rematch and Mitchell has some words of support for his transatlantic rival.

"It's definitely a crazy sport. The thing I would say to him is not to worry about the critics. Just learn from what happened. As long as he learns he'll be alright. This is a sport where you're only as good as your last fight.

"I don't know him personally so I don't know if he felt like he couldn't be touched or anything like that but if that was the case, that's what he has to learn from that experience. Anybody can be beaten on any given night."

Whenever a heavyweight prospect gets beaten the critics and, it must be said, us fans instantly lower the ceiling on their potential. Should - heaven forbid - that defeat be a stoppage then the limits are lowered even further. Price's team refute the claim that their man has a weak chin and stand by their claim that Thompson landed a freak punch in a particularly susceptible area. Mitchell agrees that every knockout isn't what it immediately seems.

"Especially in the heavyweight division if you get caught right…….." Mitchell begins before he trails off. "The thing with Jonathon Banks… doesn't even have to be a hard punch. I got hit in the temple. It wasn't as if I was out on my feet but he stayed on me and I was fine as soon as the ref said the fight was over. It wasn't as if I had a concussion or anything. I don't make excuses. He did what he was supposed to do but any time you get hit, especially in the heavyweight division, it can be over. That doesn't mean you have a glass chin.

"You've gotta have thick skin in this business too. The critics are gonna be out there. I just take it all in my stride. I never thought that I couldn't be beaten, I just have to get better. I can't wait to get back in the ring though. I promise you, you're all gonna be impressed.

"Even before the defeat I knew why I was getting all the praise and it was because of what I was doing and I never got on my high horse. I'm a humble guy and that helped me deal with the defeat better than if I was one of those guys that walked around thinking I was invincible or would never have a bump in the road. That can destroy fighters but it's not the case with me. It's not a bad thing if you learn from it and I truly believe I've learned from my defeat."

Mitchell brings excitement to the heavyweight division. In an era dominated by tall, rangy Europeans his seek and destroy attitude to proceedings should be welcomed. It would be a crime not to learn from a defeat but while some fighters understandably react to a loss by obsessing on the eradicating their faults, they succeed only in neglecting the qualities which led to their initial success.

Thankfully, Mitchell isn't going to curb his aggressive style but does acknowledge the need to polish it.

"I won't be making major changes, just being a smarter fighter. I know what I'm blessed with and that's speed and power," he states. "I'm a very aggressive by nature be it when I was playing football or just competing in general. It's just knowing that sometimes you have to take your time just a little bit more. I'm still gonna be a fighter that comes forward and puts on exciting fights for the fans but you'll definitely see a smarter fighter.

"You're never gonna see me out there doing the Muhammad Ali stuff and trying to move around like that!" laughs Mitchell. "I'll be working on my fundamentals like balance and not reaching and lunging as much. These are things I knew before the Jonathon Banks fight but sometimes you've gotta go through adversity in order for a change to really happen."

In the current heavyweight climate it would be no surprise at all if Mitchell ended the year once again being feted as a future heavyweight champion. Just don't expect him to get carried away by it.

Follow on twitter - @John_Evans79
Email thoughts and opinions to [email protected]

Follow Seth on twitter - @SethMayhem48
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.