By Ryan Maquiñana
Heavyweight prospect LaRon Mitchell, who fell just one win shy of making the U.S. Olympic Team, has signed a promotional contract with Goossen Tutor.
“It feels really good to be signing with Goossen Tutor,” Mitchell told BoxingScene.com. “It’s a five-year deal, and I’m ready to fight right away. I’m just happy for the opportunity.”
Mitchell (1-0, 1 KO), who took up boxing a shade under three years ago, quickly shot up the amateur 201-plus-pound rankings after his run to the Olympic Trials final, which was followed by a bronze medal in the 2012 U.S. Nationals.
In March, the slick southpaw from San Francisco, Calif., won his pro debut, flooring Michael Dennis twice en route to a second-round stoppage. Mitchell, a San Francisco State University graduate, currently trains under Jimmy Ford's tutelage out of the Ring of Fire Gym in nearby Brisbane.
“One big reason why I signed with Goossen Tutor was their heavyweight stable,” said Mitchell, who is now 33 years old. “One of the heavyweights who I’ve kind of modeled myself after is Tony Thompson. I think I’m faster, but he’s a little heavier. We both had families and kids before we got in the game a little late.
“But Goossen has a lot of heavyweights, and they all got a shot at the title. They have Chris Arreola, Eddie Chambers, Malik Scott, and then of course, out of the other weights, Andre Ward. They have the best in the game right now. Hopefully everything works out.”
At 33, Mitchell is well aware that his window of opportunity to make an impact in the sport will be smaller than other prospects, but he’s unafraid of the steep learning curve.
“The money you make doesn’t do anything for you unless it’s money you can retire with, and you don’t get that money unless you fight the best in the world,” Mitchell said. “That’s my goal—to test myself against the best in the world.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected] , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.