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 Last update:  6/8/2012       Read more by David P. Greisman         
Seth Mitchell Aims For September Return from Hand Injury
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by David P. Greisman Whats been going on? I know you had a fight scheduled for July 14 against Johnathon Banks that had to be canceled due to your hand injury. What happened, and how do you feel about that?

Mitchell: When I had to cancel my fight, of course I was disappointed. I wanted to fight. I wanted to put on a good show for my fans. But it is what it is. I hurt my [right] hand in the Chazz Witherspoon fight, but I didnt realize that Id hurt my hand. It wasnt a particular punch where I felt Id hurt the hand in the fight. But afterwards my knuckle had a little swelling in it, but I still could ball up my fist. I just figured Id get some ice and soak it and take some Motrin and just treat it for a week to two weeks and everything would be fine.

But once they scheduled my fight for July 14, the swelling went down a lot but the swelling just stayed there in my knuckle. That forced me to go just to see if anything was wrong. Like I said, my hand wasnt hurting at all, but I know the swelling wasnt supposed to be there. The MRI and X-rays came back negative, and the MRI said Id sprained my MCL in my third metatarsal or whatever my middle finger knuckle. Thats when I disclosed the information to my team and to Golden Boy, and we had to postpone the fight or pull out of the fight. Whats the prognosis, then, for when that will heal, when you can go back into training and when you can fight again?

Mitchell: I got to rest it for about five weeks. No contact for five weeks. Im going to the gym today. I just cant use my right hand. So Im staying in shape. Im still working on things in the gym. Im just not using my hand for five weeks. Hopefully after that, thats when I start back punching and start back sparring. I hope to be back in the ring in September. Are you hoping to get the Banks fight rescheduled, or is there going to be a different opponent when you get back in the ring?

Mitchell: Im not sure. Hopefully we can still get that fight done. I feel bad for Johnathon Banks. This is a business. This is how we make a living. I know he was excited about the fight, as was I. Hopefully we can still get that done and get him back in the ring sometime in September or whenever I get back in the ring. I definitely would like to still make that happen. Break down Banks as an opponent what do you see him as in terms of skills and the kind of threat he may or may not pose against you?

Mitchell: To be honest, I havent started looking at him yet. I saw his fight against Tomasz Adamek. I just saw highlights of that. But I dont usually start, because opponents change. They might say youre fighting this opponent, and then you start working on that opponent. So I dont start looking at film of my opponents until about five weeks out from my fight.

I let my trainer do most of the studying of my opponent. Ill look at a couple of fights just to get familiarized with his style, but I dont study my opponents that much. I let my trainer do that and then I break them down in the gym when I have gotten to that point where Ive started studying. Banks of course is familiar with the Klitschkos from sparring Wladimir, and the Klitschkos are of course the end goal for you, but he doesnt physically resemble them. Why have him as your next opponent?

Mitchell: I think he brought some things to the table. He moves a little bit. Hes active. He has a good right hand, and thats something I need to work on more getting out of the way of the right hand. Ive been caught with the right hand in a couple of my fights. Thats just something that I have to work on. Im still about three or four fights away from the Klitschkos. I think those fights that are going to better prepare me for the Klitschkos will come. But I think that this is a fight that at this point in my career is a good step for me. What did you take out of your performance against Witherspoon in April? Was getting hurt a negative, a positive, or a combination of both?

Mitchell: Its a combination of both, moreso positive than negative. This is boxing. Youre going to get hit. I actually was like, I got to keep my hands up more, but when I went back and watched the tape, my hands were actually up, I just was bent over at my waist instead of bending at my knees, which exposed the whole left side of my face, and he took advantage of it.

But the way I came back, it showed my will, my determination, it showed me to be able to adjust in the first round. He dictated with his jab. I knew I couldnt let him continue to dictate with the jab, so I adjusted and I made it an inside fight. I attacked his body well. It showed heart. It showed conditioning. It showed stamina. Even when I was hurt, I wasnt flustered. I stayed composed.

A lot of people, they talk about my lack of experience. But that fight showed that just because you dont have a lot of amateur experience, or you dont have that many rounds under your belt, sometimes you have to throw that stuff out of the window and just look at it as what it is. I showed that I am experienced and I showed experience in that fight. Obviously youd have preferred never getting hurt at all, but it turned that fight into a more exciting fight and a more thrilling victory, which in the end might make you even more marketable than you were already.

Mitchell: Absolutely. And I tell people that that fight did more for me than if I just went out there and destroyed Chazz in one or two rounds. Now if you ask me which would I have preferred, Id tell you Id rather go in there and destroy him in one or two rounds than have to get hit in the head like that and get hurt like that.

But that fight did a lot more for me as far as the public appeal and just the recognition and just to answer some questions in peoples mind about how hes going to react when he gets hurt, and when he faces adversity is he going to crumble or fall. I believe I answered some of those questions. What about the questions in your own mind? Had you ever been hurt like that before, either in sparring or in an actual fight?

Mitchell: Not like that. Id been dazed before where you get hit and you go like Oh, and in like two seconds youre fine. But I had to weather that storm for 40 seconds, and 40 seconds is a long time when youre hurt in a boxing match. Did that answer the question for you as to how youre going to deal with it? Did you feel that Chazz Witherspoons power is representative of what youre going to be facing when you get in there against the upper echelon of opponents?

Mitchell: Thats a hard question to answer. Chazz was probably closer to 240 pounds when he got in the ring that night, and he caught me flush, not one time, but three or four times. He was heavy handed in that fight. Whos to say if another fighter is going to be more heavy handed than him? It just showed that I can take a shot, and I can come back from that adversity.

The way I came back was more surprising to me. It didnt take me a couple rounds to warm up. From the second round on, it was like two different fights. It was like the first half of the fight, Chazz was dictating with his jab, but he wasnt punishing me, then like the last minute and 20 seconds it was like Seth was in survival mode. And if you watched the fight from the second round on youd think I was dominating the whole fight from round one. Weve been talking about you and defense, but how do you feel you were in terms of offense against Witherspoon, and what do you want to improve on in that area for your coming fights?

Mitchell: Im more, I would say, athletically inclined than I showed. I got a little more bounce to my step. I was hitting him with good jabs, but I got a good double and triple jab, which I didnt show. Theres a lot of room for the improvement. If you watched the fight when I hit him with that first right hand right before the stoppage, if Id have came back with the left hook, instead of it being a TKO, itd have been a clean KO.

He was wide open for the left hook. Thats what my trainer said: always finish with your combinations. You say yeah, and then sometimes you do it and sometimes you dont. I got to put more effort on finishing my combinations. That could mean the difference. Chazz couldve come back and won the fight like I did if I didnt finish that combination. Thats a thing that I have to work on. Overall as a whole, Im still learning on the job. I think thats what amazes people so much, because I started late, but Im learning on the job and I feel like Im continually getting better in every fight. You said you want to be back in September. When do you start working on making sure that happens and you dont stay on the shelf and only fight a couple times this year?

Mitchell: I got a great team behind me, so as long as Im healthy, Ill be fighting. That doesnt concern me. Hopefully I can fight two more times this year. I definitely wouldve fought two more times, maybe three times, if I hadnt got injured. Now three times is definitely out the window, so Im shooting for fighting two more times this year. But thats all contingent on the health of my hand. But Im not worried about being stuck on the shelf. If Im healthy, Im fighting. Any final thoughts for your fans?

Mitchell: I just want to tell them to continue to just lift me up in prayer. This is my first time having a little setback. Just pray for me that my hand gets better. Its a minor injury, but as you know minor injuries can turn into major injuries if you dont treat them right and take the necessary precautions. I just ask them to pray for me and just follow me on Twitter (@SethMayhem48).

David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at or on Facebook at, or send questions and comments to

Tags: Seth Mitchell


 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by ShoulderRoll, on 06-08-2012
I love that he is studying his mistakes. It wasn't that his hands weren't up, it was that he wasn't bending at the knees....good analysis and that's how he needs to critique himself after every performance. If he keeps improving he can become a world class heavyweight. Maybe 5 fights from...

comment by JAB5239, on 06-08-2012
Mitchell needs at least 3 or 4 more fights before looking to fight Wlad. Gotta love his honesty and exciting style....he won't be the greatest but he'll be fun to watch win or lost.

comment by The Big Dunn, on 06-08-2012
[QUOTE=Freedom.]He should fight Chris Arreola, and the winner should fight Wlad.[/QUOTE] I'd like to see wlad fight both because at least then I could see it on TV, hoepfully.

comment by Freedom2014, on 06-08-2012
He should fight Chris Arreola, and the winner should fight Wlad.

Post A Comment/View More User Comments (4) 

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