Seth Mitchell: Boxing's Next Heavyweight
Written by Kevin Wilson, special to BlackAmericaWeb.com Friday, 09 November 2012 13:53
All it took was one boxing match to convince Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell he had found his sport.
Mitchell, a former outstanding Michigan State University linebacker earned the nickname, “Mayhem” from teammate Jason Teague. Definitely, an NFL prospect, Mitchell suffered a knee injury that ended those aspirations. By watching Tom Zbikowski, a former Notre Dame safety and adversary in his boxing debut in 2006, at Madison Square Garden, Mitchell instantly decided to pursue boxing.
Mitchell said he kept the nickname because it has a nice ring to it, but he found his new sport required a new approach.
“Training for football and boxing is different. Boxing is tougher mentally than football, “said the heavyweight contender, preparing for his Nov. 17 HBO bout against Johnathan Banks at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Mitchell has an impressive record of 25-0-1, 19 knockouts, as does the 6-foot-3 Banks, at 28-1-1, with 18 knockouts.
“He’s a counter-puncher, with a pretty good jab, slick, “Mitchell told BlackAmericaWeb.com.
He’s betting his earlier bouts, though, have prepared him for what’s coming.
A bout with Álvaro Morales resulted in a draw. “It was a good decision,” Mitchell agreed.
In a previous thriller, on April 28, against Chazz Witherspoon, 30-3, 22 knockouts, Ref Randy Neumann decided to halt the slug fest at 2:31 seconds in the third round. Mitchell outscored Witherspoon, 51-11 in powers shots in the second and third round. Making adjustments in the first round, he destroyed Witherspoon on the inside and wore his body down.
“He couldn’t handle the pressure,” Mitchell said. “This was my second appearance on HBO, a bout with the most adversity of my career, and by far my best performance.”
“I got a little excited after I had him hurt. I never got back to fighting smart,” Witherspoon told ESPN.com. “He dealt with adversity great. I was fighting a stupid fight, after I got him hurt and I was just looking for the knockout. He had great ability,”
Mitchell trains at the Dream Team Boxing Club in Clinton, Maryland, under Andre Hunter. Eating, running, doing a lot of reps and resting properly is essential to the heavyweight contender on the grind in a division that hungers excitement.
Mitchell endures rigorous workouts five to six days a week; four of those days are two-a-days. He spars, hits the speed bag and jumps rope. Some observers have said Mitchell’s body work reminds them of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
While he is confident about his skills, Mitchell was happily surprised to be signed after his second professional fight by the highly respected Golden Boy Promotions, founded by former six-division world champion Oscar de la Hoya (also known as “the Golden Boy”).
He said he and the organization are focused on the same goal: making Mitchell a world champion.
There are no commercial deals, yet. “When the time is right, it will happen,” Mitchell, a Christian man believes. For now, he said, he intends to excel in a barbaric sport.
In May, Mitchell will be 30. He said he wants to depart the sport at age 36, healthy and financially stable.
He said he loves to fight in Las Vegas, and doesn’t mind entertaining in New York or Atlantic City and certainly would like to fight more on the East Coast, especially at home in the D.C. area.
D.C. Boxing and Wrestling Commissioner, Mark Allen said Mitchell should fight more at home because “to entertain the boxing fans from all over the world in Seth’s backyard, to revive the city and encourage our youth to box would be fabulous.”
Allen added he believed the boxer is two matches away from a title fight.
“Seth’s an exceptional fighter, a great athlete, with heart,” Allen said.
Chatter on the DMV Group on Facebook suggests fans hope Mitchell can fight one of the Klitschko brothers – Wladmir or Vitali. Both are champions.
Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs) is the WBC World Heavyweight Champion, and is considered a potential opponent for Mitchell in 2014.
Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 51 KOs), the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO World Champion, is considered an unlikely opponent.
“Wladmir will retire soon, but the younger one, Vitali will be around. With no setbacks, we hope to fight in 2014, but everything has to be in place. It really doesn’t matter who has the title,” Mitchell said.
Outside of the ring, Mitchell, who is also a youth motivational speaker, inspires students on career day. The criminal justice graduate and family man, articulates an eloquent message about the importance of education, self –belief, fighting through adversity, a work ethic and determination.
“My style of boxing resonates with the people, and I am a fighter with another switch, when it comes to competing,” Mitchell forewarns. He thanks his fans, near and far, and he can hardly wait to get back into the ring on Nov. 17. The discovery of former gridiron foe, Tom Zbikowski, in the ring, made it all feasible.