On Saturday night, two young men who appeared destined to do great things in boxing took two different paths on HBO Boxing After Dark from Atlantic City.
Heavyweight Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell was shocked by former cruiserweight contender Johnathon Banks, suffering a second-round knockout.
Meanwhile, Adrien Broner continued to impress as he dominated WBC Super Featherweight champion Antonio DeMarco en route to an eighth-round TKO to capture the title.
However, there was a whole lot more to the night. Here are the winners and losers of Saturday's card in Atlantic City.
Winner: Johnathon Banks
You can forgive the former cruiserweight contender if he was still trying to take in what had just happened.
Last week, he worked the corner of Wladimir Klitschko for his title defense against Mariusz Wach, which came on the heels of the passing of longtime trainer Emanuel Steward. Banks has referred to Steward as a father figure since he first entered the Kronk Gym as a 15-year-old.
Now a week later, Banks finds himself on cloud nine as he shocked the boxing world with his big TKO victory over previously undefeated Seth Mitchell.
Not a bad night’s work.
Loser: Golden Boy Promotions
After Seth Mitchell’s scary but exciting win over Chazz Witherspoon, many wondered if Mitchell needed some more seasoning as his defense and chin were called into question. Instead of bringing in another fighter at the same level of Witherspoon, Golden Boy matched him up with a cagey veteran. Banks was a more skilled boxer with championship experience.
Now it is back to the drawing board for Team Mitchell.
Winner: Ricky Burns
Adrien Broner may have won the fight and the title, but Ricky Burns just became the most sought-after opponent for everyone at 135 pounds for the simple reason that Frank Warren will do business with Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions.
With the cold war between Top Rank and Golden Boy showing no signs of ending, third-party fighters are in demand. And since Burns has the WBO title and a fan-friendly style, it looks like he will be in high demand.
Winner: Adrien Broner
After disastrous pre-fight weight shenanigans against Vicente Escobedo in which Broner came off looking entitled, arrogant and immature, he redeemed himself in a big way as he dismantled a very tough Antonio DeMarco to quiet the critics and show his mettle.
For eight rounds, Broner used a blend of power, speed and boxing tactics to fluster and hurt DeMarco, keeping the champion at bay and not letting him in the fight. Plus, the brushing did not appear during the end of the fight interview.
Loser: Juan De Leon
While DeMarco’s trainer, Romulo Quirarte, showed compassion for his fighter by throwing in the towel in to save his man from taking a beating, many fight fans still remember Juan De Leon not doing the same for Mariusz Wach.
There comes a point in a fight when the trainer has to save his charge from being too brave and taking excessive punishment. When Quirarte told his fighter that his health meant more than winning the fight, it showed how badly De Leon had acted as a trainer.
Winner: Fight fans
This is what fight fans have been waiting for the last couple of weeks.
In the doubleheader, they saw action in spades, which was a huge bonus for fans who slept through last weekend’s terrible fights.
Mitchell and Banks threw everything and the kitchen sink at each other, which resulted in three knockdowns.
And while Broner vs. DeMarco was a bit one-sided, there was still plenty of action, which made for some great moments as both men refused to quit.
You can listen to Chris Connor every Friday night from 11 to 1 a.m. ET as the executive producer and host of LAST CALL radio show on Cyberstationusa.com.