by David P. Greisman
Twice before, undefeated heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell has been slated to face Johnathon Banks on HBO. And twice, that fight has been delayed. But now Mitchell has a date ó Nov. 17 in Atlantic City, on the undercard of a broadcast featuring Antonio DeMarco vs. Adrien Broner.
Mitchell spoke with BoxingScene.com in the beginning of October about those delays, about his being featured Oct. 27 in an HBO ď2 DaysĒ documentary, and about what benefits there are with sharing a broadcast with Broner.
BoxingScene.com: This is the third date for your fight with Johnathon Banks. The first postponement was because you were injured, the second came because Adrien Broner didnít have an approved opponent. How frustrating has it been to sit on the sidelines waiting to fight again?
Mitchell: ďItís been a little frustrating, but itís definitely a part of business that Iíve read about, and Iíve seen fighters that have not fought in a while. Iíve been fortunate that up until this point thus far in my career, Iíve been very busy. I just told myself I only can get mad at the things that I can control. Thatís just how I dealt with it.
ďI stayed in the gym. We werenít high intensity training, but we were definitely staying in there so I could stay sharp. Right now Iím at probably about 80 percent. I could be ready to fight four weeks from now on the first, so we got plenty of time to get ready. Iím just excited. A little frustrated, but thatís part of the business. What are you going to do?Ē
BoxingScene.com: This will be your second fight in 2012, after four in 2011, five in 2010 and seven in 2009. Given the way this year has gone, what kind of activity would you like to have next year?
Mitchell: ďMan, I definitely would like to have three or four fights next year, preferably four, but no less than three if I stay healthy. And even if I were heavyweight champion right now, Iím the type of fighter that I would like to stay busy. Iíd like to fight every five months. In a little more than a year, I would like to fight three times. That will never change.Ē
BoxingScene.com: How much boxing do you watch? Are there any of the other heavyweights out there whose fights youíve been checking out?
Mitchell: ďYeah, any time I get a chance to watch boxing, I love to watch it. I definitely tune into the heavyweight fights. I caught the heavyweight fight [Povetkin-Rahman] this weekend. Theyíre exciting. These are the people that I can potentially be facing, so I like to check them out.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Who stands out to you among the heavyweights youíve been watching of late?
Mitchell: ďThere are a lot of good heavyweights. I like Deontay Wilder. I think with his height, his athleticism, and he definitely can punch. You know, he gets a lot of flak now for his level of opposition, but I know what I see. I see somebody thatís tall, somebody that has that fire in him, and he can punch, and heís athletic.
ďBryant Jennings. One thing that stands out to me is his reach. He has the reach of a 6-6, 6-7 guy, but heís only 6-2, my height. He can fight. I like him. I like [Magomed Abdusalamov]. Heís strong. He can punch. I like Povektin, David Haye, Tyson Fury, David Price, even Chisora. I think thereís a lot of good heavyweights out there.Ē
BoxingScene.com: I know youíre thinking specifically about Johnathon Banks right nowÖ
BoxingScene.com: Öbut are there any of those names you mentioned that youíd like to fight next?
Mitchell: ďI donít name call, but Iíll just say that my main focus is on Johnathon Banks right now, and after Nov. 17 Iím willing to fight anybody in the top 10. I feel that Iím ready for that level of opposition. Even though I havenít been on that level yet, Iím just waiting for my opportunity.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What benefits do you think come with sharing a broadcast with Adrien Broner?
Mitchell: ďAdrienís my man. Heís going to talk a lot, but you canít take away his skill. Heís all about business when he gets into the ring. I just think being on the card with him will definitely increase my viewership, because he has a lot of people that love him and hate him, but theyíre all going to be tuning in, whether they want to see him win or want to see him lose. Thatíll definitely help me out as well, and I got a lot of people watching me, too.Ē
BoxingScene.com: On Oct. 27, HBOís going to be broadcasting a ď2 DaysĒ feature spotlighting you in the day before and the day of your April win over Chazz Witherspoon. What was it like being filmed so closely during fight week like that?
Mitchell: ďFor me, to be honest, it was cool because I donít and I didnít deviate from my normal routine. We, as a team, are very routine. We go eat together. After I eat, weíll go for a little 20-minute walk or whatever just to talk and walk the food off. We stay consistent. It was just like, it was a normal routine. When I was going up, normally when I go up to my room, I do a lot of resting during the week, stay off my feet. I tell them Iím going up to go to sleep, and they say ĎOK, call when youíre about to to go back down.í So it was pretty much routine, but it was cool having them around. I was just glad it ended on a good note, even though there was a big scare in the first round.Ē
BoxingScene.com: What do you think being spotlighted in the ď2 DaysĒ will do for your career?
Mitchell: ďI think itíll give people a glimpse of the real Seth Mitchell, not ĎMayhem,í per se. I think thatís one thing thatís real intriguing to people that donít know me. To people that know me, Iím like the kindest guy. I laugh. I joke. Iím always smiling. But itís a different person when itís time to compete. But behind the scenes stuff, theyíll see Iím not a braggart. Iím not boastful. Iím a very humble, down to earth guy. I think, hopefully when they see the piece, theyíll see that this is a dude that I genuinely want him to succeed because heís a good guy. Heís a good guy, but in the ring, heís a beast. Heís ĎMayhemí in the ring.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Itís football season, so D.C. is thinking about the Redskins, and meanwhile the Nationals are in the playoffs. How do you go about making Seth Mitchell the next sports franchise in and around the Nationís Capital?
Mitchell: ďI believe I got to get out a little bit more. And of course I have to continue to win. But thatís a tough question because, like you said, Iím competing against a lot. But good lord winning if I continue to win, to have a couple of those fights here, me being in the main event, to bring that big fight to the city, I think thatíll definitely help me out a lot.Ē
BoxingScene.com: Any final thoughts?
Mitchell: ďI just want to thank everybody for supporting me, and Iím asking that they definitely come out to the fight, or tune in Nov. 17. Iím fighting Johnathon Banks. Itís on HBO in the co-main event. Definitely tune in on the 27th of October for the ď2 DaysĒ with Seth Mitchell. And as always, continue to keep me in the prayers. Iím excited to get out there and perform. And definitely follow me on Twitter (@SethMayhem48) and on Facebook.Ē
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Johnathon Banks , Seth Mitchell , Mitchell-Banks , Mitchell vs Banks