by David P. Greisman
BoxingScene.com: It looked like you were originally going to jump in to stop the Seth Mitchell/Chazz Witherspoon fight, then like you were issuing a technical knockdown, and then you decided to stop the fight. What was the actual sequence of events at the end?
Randy Neumann: “It was very quick. There was no standing eight count, but he was out on his feet, so I wanted to give him a count and the opportunity to keep fighting. Then I counted ‘one’ and looked in his eyes, and he was done. I just wrapped him around and held him up. Normally if they’re unhappy or not concussed, they start complaining. He didn’t utter a word.”
BoxingScene.com: You said you started to issue a count — is that because it was a technical knockdown, that he’d fallen and the ropes were holding him up?
Neumann: “Yeah. If the ropes weren’t there, he’d be on the floor, so it’s a knockdown.”
BoxingScene.com: What was the first round like from your perspective?
Neumann: “Mitchell really got hurt. And then the round ended, and I carefully watched his gait going back to the corner, and he was a little unstable. So I put it in the register to keep an eye on things, and went back to look at him during the break and the guy’s in good shape.”
BoxingScene.com: What about Mitchell’s condition led you to keep the fight going in the first round?
Neumann: “He wasn’t hurt badly, but he’s a young fighter, he was shaken up, and you’ve got to make decisions. See if that was a four-round fight and he was shaken up that badly, I might’ve stopped it, because young fighters don’t really know how to regroup and continue, so as soon as they get hurt, you almost want to stop the fight, stop any real damage.
“But this is a 12-round title fight. These guys know how to fight, so you want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Fortunately in this case I was proven correct.”
BoxingScene.com: Now toward the end of the third it looked like you were already getting ready to stop the fight.
Neumann: “I wanted to stop the fight, but I wanted to give him a count because he wasn’t on the floor. If he was on the floor then I’d have the easy opportunity to give him the count, and he might’ve got out and felt fine. But he was out on his feet, so I gave him the opportunity because it wasn’t a standing eight, it was a leaning on the ropes count. Then I looked at him.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org