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Seth Mitchell Rocked, But Stops Witherspoon in Three

by David P. Greisman, live at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City

The bandwagon nearly came crashing to an abrupt halt for the man anointed as the next great American heavyweight.

Seth Mitchell was reeling around the ring, his legs failing him, trying to hold on as Chazz Witherspoon kept hitting him with hard shot after hard shot.

And the first round wasn’t even over yet.

But Mitchell survived the onslaught and went on to return the favor. He hurt Witherspoon two rounds later, scored a knockdown and then made sure that he wouldn’t make the same mistake Witherspoon had — clobbering Witherspoon relentlessly and forcing the referee to jump in for a third-round technical knockout victory.

This was Seth Mitchell’s biggest test yet for a former college football player who had turned boxing pro barely four years ago. Witherspoon had come up short in his own biggest tests, losing to Chris Arreola and Tony Thompson, but he’d put together four straight wins and was now working under acclaimed trainer Virgil Hunter.

“I’m going to be honest, I was a little nervous for this fight, because he has a lot of experience and I knew he was coming to fight,” Mitchell said afterward. “In the heavyweight division it only takes one shot. I could see it in his eyes: He was coming for me.”

Witherspoon controlled the opening moments with his jab and circling movement, not allowing Mitchell to set his feet. Mitchell kept coming forward, and then suddenly he was sent in retreat. Witherspoon walloped Mitchell with hard right hands, and while Mitchell tried to hold on, Witherspoon kept coming, right hand after right hand rocking Mitchell.

He made it out of the round, however, and came back in the second, dedicating hard shot after hard shot to Witherspoon’s body.

“I never stopped using my body shots,” Mitchell said. “They were slowing him down, and he had no defense for them.”

Mitchell scored a knockdown early in the third round, throwing a left hook at the same time Witherspoon did. Mitchell’s landed, however, and sent Witherspoon down. Witherspoon rose at six, but now it was his legs that were gone, and now it was Mitchell landing hard right hand after hard right hand.

Mitchell slugged away at a Witherspoon who was on the ropes both literally and figuratively. Referee Randy Neumann jumped in, first appearing to be stopping the bout, then appearing to be giving a technical knockdown count, then waved the bout off.

The time of the stoppage was 2:31.

“I got a little excited after I got him hurt,” Witherspoon said afterward. “I never got back to fighting smart. He dealt with adversity great. I was fighting a stupid fight after I got him hurt. I was just looking for the knockout.”

Witherspoon had landed 24 power shots in the first round compared to 7 for Mitchell, according to CompuBox. Yet Mitchell closed the show with 51 power shots in the final two rounds, compared to 11 for Witherspoon.

Mitchell, 29, of Brandywine, Md., improves to 25-0-1 (19 KOs). Witherspoon, 30, of Philadelphia, falls to 30-3 (22 KOs).

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 [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by TyrantT316 on 04-30-2012

This is the norm. A contented doesn't have his chin tested before the big fights and fans complain that he's not tested. Or that fighter does have his chin tested, gets rocked a bit, but holds up and wins...then fans…

Comment by Superflo777 on 04-30-2012

[QUOTE=WladimirK;12061175]Yes, which sounds like a joke. It would be a mismatch, mormeck style :gives:[/QUOTE] After some more fights of Mitchell I think it could be very interesting. Mitchell is undefeated, American, it would definitely sell, perhaps even on HBO PPV.

Comment by Weltschmerz on 04-30-2012

[QUOTE=Superflo777;12058308]Wlad himself has said he is is very interested in Mitchell as a future opponent.[/QUOTE] Yes, which sounds like a joke. It would be a mismatch, mormeck style :gives:

Comment by richardt on 04-29-2012

[QUOTE=Steak;12057656]Actually, Id be down for Arreola-Mitchell. Sure, Mitchell is easy to hit, but hes got pretty good right hand power. [QUOTE] Both have power but one takes punches at higher levels and one cannot take punches at lower levels. Easy…

Comment by davros2010 on 04-29-2012

[QUOTE=Jim Jeffries;12058474]I like the comparison to a green version of Tommy Morrison and while he may never set the HW division on fire, should give us some entertaining bouts trying.[/QUOTE] Yeah that's what I said he does remind me of…

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