By Lem Satterfield
Mike Mollo of Oak Lawn, Ill., is an opponent being considered for unbeaten American heavyweight prospect Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell of Brandywine, MD., during his return to the ring on Aug. 27 on the undercard of a bout featuring WBA interim junior welterweight king Marcos Rene Maidana against southpaw WBO and WBA interim lightweight champion Robert Guerrero at the HP Pavilion, San Jose, Calif.
The 29-year-old Mitchell (22-0-1, 16 knockouts) will be after his eighth straight stoppage, his 10th knockout in his past 11 fights, and his 21st consecutive win against the 31-year-old Mollo (20-3-1, 12 KOs as a precursor to the main event between the 27-year-old Maidana (30-2, 27 KOs) of Argentina and the 28-year-old Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) of Gilroy, Calif.
Mollo is 1-2-1 in his past four fights, and is coming off of October's eight-round draw with Gary Gomez. Mollo was stopped once in the fourth round of a May, 2006 bout by DaVarryl Willson, and lost a unanimous 12-round decision to former contender, Andrew Golota.
Considered to be America's next-best chance at a heavyweight crown, Mitchell will be the subject of a feature by The Washington Post Newspaper as early as this week.
Mitchell watched last weekend's unanimous decision by WBO, IBF and IBO king Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) that dethroned England's David Haye (25-2, 23 KOs) as WBA titlist.
The 35-year-old Wladimir Klitschko won for the 14th straight time during a run that has included 10 knockouts, ending a 15-bout winning streak by the 30-year-old Haye that includes 13 stoppages.
Wladimir's older brother, 39-year-old Vitali Klitschko (42-2, 39 KOs) owns the WBC's version of the heavyweight belt.
During the aftermath of the Klitschko-Haye telecast, HBO's Larry Merchant said: The Klitschkos have dominated the heavyweight division with their cerebral "Mayhem" for a decade.
Maybe it's time for "Mayhem" Mitchell to throw his fists into the fray? In this Q&A,Well, Mitchell expressed his thoughts on the subject.
BoxingScene.com: What were your thoughts on Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye?
Seth Mitchell: I thought that the fight wasn't a spectacular fight. I thought that it was kind of a boring fight. But it didn't surprise me.
Like I've said before, David Haye had the tools to possibly win a decision, but if somebody had gotten knocked out, I would have projected Wladimir Klitschko to knock out David Haye.
David Haye showed good athleticism and good head movement by not staying in the line of fire. But at the same time he didn't really give himself a chance to win.
I thought that the only way that he could have won was to move like he moved, but to take more opportunities to get in on the inside and then to get back out with his athleticism and his legs.
He could have jumped in and gotten some good counter shots, some good body shots, some good overhand rights in there. But he just fought in retreat.
I think that David Haye should have fought the first seven or so rounds like he fought the 12th round. Maybe then, he would have given himself a better chance to win.
At the same time, he would have been taking more risks by doing that and put himself in danger. But that was the strategy that I thought gave him the best chance and the best opportunity to win.
At the same time, I thought that if Wladimir Klitschko could really tough him and hit him then he had a better chance to get a knockout.
BoxingScene.com: Did you envision yourself in the fight with either one of them?
SM: I actually did try to envision and visualize myself in there and to try to determine what I would have to do to dethrone one of the Klitschko brothers.
It was funny, because while the fight was going on, I was envisioning how I would do and what I would do and what necessary strategy would be developed by my camp and what they would come up with.
BoxingScene.com: Has your timetable changed as to when you would expect to challenge for a heavyweight title?
SM: Initially, I know that I said maybe 18 months, and I definitely want to be smart about it. But realistically, I could see me getting that call maybe quicker than in 18 months like I said before.
You know, maybe it will be in 12-to-14 months, you know? Sometime in early 2012 instead of when I said before in 2013. I definitely want to be smart about it. But I definitely want to be ready when I get my opportunity.
BoxingScene.com: Are you feeling any extra pressure or responsibility as an unbeaten American heavyweight prospect?
SM: I'm not really feeling any more sense of responsibility. I just happen to be an American fighter. But when I decided to get into this boxing business, I wanted to become the heavyweight champion of the world.
It just so happens that I'm a time where the heavyweight division is lacking that next superstar and that next exciting fighter. But you know, I'm happy to put that on my shoulders.
I consider myself one that stands taller than most under pressure. I'm going to continue to work hard. This is a goal that I've had since I decided to box. It's something that I'm looking forward to.
But it's nothing that I wasn't prepared for. There's no pressure that I can't handle. I relish that opportunity and I relish that title and I have to just keep knocking down the guys that they put in front of me.
If the good Lord's willing, then sometime in the next year or during the early part of 2013, I'll will be the heavyweight champion of the world.