By Jake Donovan
Seth Mitchell was being groomed for a title shot prior to running into Johnathon Banks, who was grooming the heavyweight champion for a title defense a week before his own blockbuster win.
Banks racked up a career-best win, dropping Mitchell three times en route to a 2nd round knockout win to hand the former college football standout his first career loss as a pro boxer.
A rematch clause is what leads us to tonight’s co-feature attraction at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The bout comes in supporting capacity to Paul Malignaggi’s welterweight title defense versus Adrien Broner, with both fights airing live on Showtime (Saturday 9PM ET/6PM PT).
The two were supposed to collide in Atlantic City – the site of their first fight – in February, but the sequel was postponed due to injuries. Neither fighter has fought since their abbreviated affair last November, though Banks (29-1-1, 19KO) has earned accolades both for his heavyweight surge as well as his work with lineal heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko, taking over as his head trainer in the wake of Emanuel Steward’s passing last October.
Mitchell (25-1-1, 19KO) is in desperate need of a win to prove there is substance to the enormous amount of hype that has surrounded his career. Banks is playing with house money, though a repeat win by the Detroit native could prove problematic given his working relationship with the best heavyweight in the world.
Will history repeat itself or will revenge rule the evening? Read on to see how the Boxingscene.com staff believes the heavyweight action will play out.
PREDICTIONS – JOHNATHON BANKS v. SETH MITCHELL (REMATCH)
“I expect Seth Mitchell to come out boxing cautiously. The question is what happens when Banks lands on him? Will Mitchell have flashbacks. I think Banks waits for his opportunity and stops Mitchell again, this time in the 9th round.”
- Ryan Burton (Banks TKO9)
“Banks took the scenic route to get where he is, but his dual role as fighter and trainer has made him wiser on both sides of the ropes. Boxing IQ is the difference here; Mitchell is a fast learner and a student of the game, while Banks is a teacher. Both will make adjustments, but Banks will remain far enough ahead of the curve to forever remove Mitchell from heavyweight contention.”
- Jake Donovan (Banks TKO4)
“When Boxing Scene Radio had Mitchell on, he sounded as if he realized the mistakes he had made in their first fight. He also seemed to hint that had the rematch gone as originally planned on February 16th he may not have had a proper understanding of what happened. Mitchell physically has all the tools to be a good heavyweight but now needs the experience and intangibles to take him to that next level and it starts Saturday.”
- Ernie Gabion (Mitchell TKO6)
“This fight will last longer than their first. The result will be the same, with Banks catching Mitchell and putting him out, except this time it will be in the middle rounds.”
- Richard Nadjowksi (Banks mid-rounds TKO)
“So far, it looks like Mitchell has Etienne-itis. He looks the part until he gets tagged. Banks is a solid enough pro to do it again and Mitchell doesn't appear to have the depth of experience to generate an alternative game plan in so little time.”
- Cliff Rold (Banks TKO)
“Mitchell will definitely do whatever it takes not to get caught again and will cause him to fight tentatively early in the fight. Will be a close affair with Banks catching Mitchell again and hurting him but this time Mitchell is able to weather the storm. In a tight finish, I see Mitchell barely edging out Banks in a fight some will feel could've gone the other way.”
- Luis Sandoval (Mitchell SD)
“Choosing between Banks and Mitchell is like choosing between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein. Who is smarter of the two? Einstein is a "crowd-pleaser" but the "hardcore" Dane beat him in a brutal scientific collision over the Kopenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. I shall go with Bohr again, i.e. Mitchell is as chinny as Banks, but he is more flawed as a fighter and as a boxer.”
- Alexey Sukachev (Banks TKO3)
Totals: Johnathon Banks 5, Seth Mitchell 2
The heavyweight rematch between Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell serves as the co-feature of a televised-tripleheader, which airs live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York (Saturday, 9PM ET/6PM PT).
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox