Seth Mitchell Interview: Can This Fighter Bring Back the Heavyweights?

edgar solorzano@edgarsolorzano2Contributor IIINovember 9, 2011

Undefeated heavyweight boxer Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell (23-0-1, 17 KOs) will be back in action against Timur Ibragimov(30-3-1, 16 KOs) on Saturday, December 10, at the Convention Center in Washington D.C. The fight will be the co-main event of the HBO-televised Khan-Peterson fight.

For those fight fans that haven't heard of Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell, he is an athletic beast that likes to trade leather with the force of a train. Mitchell had an impressive amateur record of 9-1, with nine KOs.

Many people say that the heavyweight division is dead. Well, let me tell you this: Mitchell is no doctor, but he may be the one to save and bring the heavyweight division back alive.

Seth Mitchell has always been an athletic monster. Mitchell played middle linebacker at Michigan State University and was second on his team in tackles.

Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell has been knocking athletes out since day one.

Most heavyweights nowadays aren't as dedicated as when they first started their pro careers. They start like a Fourth-of-July firework, impressing the crowd for a few seconds, only to later fade away as the rounds go by.

Of course, there are talented heavyweight boxers like the Klitchsko brothers and Thomas Adamek. However, there are not enough to have a decent division. Every time I cover a fight in Las Vegas, I don't know what to say when I see these heavyweights on the undercards, trading leather with wide punches and poor stamina.

However, it was an entirely different story when I first saw Seth Mitchell in the ring at the Marquez-Diaz II undercard. Mitchell's heart, stamina and power stood out when battling in the ring. It's true that his fight in July only lasted one round when he dominated Derek Bryant by an exciting TKO victory.

It's also true that I still had a huge question mark in my head by then; I wasn't sure if he had what it took to dominate in his division—until he won his next four fights by early-round knockouts. However, it wasn't the knockouts that clearly converted my question mark into an exclamation point.

The way he used his combinations and timed his powerful hooks convinced me that he knows what he’s doing in that ring and not just throwing random punches like most heavyweights in today’s era.

I always believed a fighter without a jab is like a snake without venom. Mitchell already has the power of a shark. His power and sharp jab makes him a golden prospect in the heavyweight division.

Here’s my recent interview with Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell.

Edgar Solorzano: How's it going, champ?

Seth Mitchell: Pretty good, man. Just a hard day of training. 'Bout to rest after this call and get ready for another day; just excited about December 10th.

Edgar Solorzano: How are you feeling right now, mentally and physically, for the fight?

Seth Mitchell: I feel good, I'm mentally focused and training camp is going well. I'll be 100-percent ready by the 1st. I like to be ready to fight about eight to10 days before my fight, and then it's just maintenance from there, but training camp is going well.

Edgar Solorzano: You will be fighting against Timur Ibragimov. How do you feel about this fighter? Is this your toughest fight yet?

Seth Mitchell: I'll say on paper, you know, clearly is my toughest fight as far as on paper and the quality of people he has fought. I think this is definitely going to be a very interesting fight, I'm expecting a tough fight. He has a lot of experience, but come December 10th, I'll be ready and definitely looking forward to another victory.

Edgar Solorzano: Are you guys looking for a knockout or just go with the game plan?

Seth Mitchell: I never know. But if you look at my record, I stopped 10 of my last 11 opponents. I really don't go out there looking for knockouts. I just go out there with my game plan and stay behind my jab. I have pretty fast hands for a heavyweight and I also have decent power for a heavyweight. I just go out there with a game plan and my knockouts just keep coming. I'm not necessarily going out there looking for a knockout; I just follow the game plan.

Edgar Solorzano: Yeah, I was going to say your last eight fights didn't even pass the sixth round. You won all of them by early stoppages. Actually, the first time I saw you fight was on the Marquez-Diaz II undercard. Now you are fighting on the co-main event of the Khan-Peterson fight. How do you feel about that?

Seth Mitchell: It feels good, it feels good to be home and on the network, especially if it's HBO and being co-main event. Like you said, when you saw me fight, it was on a pay-per-view HBO fight. But I was the very first fight on that card. I think there were like eight or nine fights and I was the very first fight. That was like a little over a year ago, and to come from there to fighting on HBO is truly a blessing.

Edgar Solorzano: Where do you see yourself two years from now?

Seth Mitchell: Two years from now, I definitely see myself as heavyweight champion of the world. If I continue to progress, two years from now, I see myself with a title around my waist.

Edgar Solorzano: If you were to name three fighters that you want to fight, who would they be?

Seth Mitchell: I don’t necessarily call out fighters; I let my manager, my promotions and my advisers handle that. But I think I mix in well with the Klitschko's and any other heavyweight out there.

Edgar Solorzano: When I see your fights, I notice that you know how to use the jab pretty well. Not that many heavyweights have a jab nowadays. How do you feel about that—being one of the few heavyweights to use the jab?

Seth Mitchell: I say that everybody should use the jab; it’s truly the best punch in boxing. I always had a pretty good jab but I never used it enough until I fought Zack Page. I really had to use that jab in that fight, and I felt the first four rounds were close. It was my first eight-round fight, and the last half of the fight I used my jab and I won my fight. I never leave home without my jab…it sets up everything.

Edgar Solorzano: You will be fighting in Washington D.C. You have a lot of fans over there. How do you feel about that?

Seth Mitchell: I feel good; it will be the first time that I fought here since April 2, 2010. It was at the Convention Center, but fought in a smaller venue. You know it’s exciting. A lot of people have been going crazy out here. They always been asking when I’m going to be coming back home. So, this is the opportunity. So hopefully all of them will come out, buy tickets and support the event. I’m very excited about it, but I won’t let that overwhelm me with fighting at home and being on this big stage. 'Cause I know if I want to continue to have this type of platform, I have to perform. So I’m very focused on that aspect of my fight.

Edgar Solorzano: The heavyweight division hasn’t been that exciting lately. Are you trying to bring it back? Do you think you can bring it back?

Seth Mitchell: I’m just going to do the best that I can do. If one loses control, I’m going to fight. I’m not in there to run. I use my jab, I’m a pressure fighter but I can also fight backing up. I throw a lot of punches. I bring that excitement and I bring that speed that’s nasty in the ring. And if that brings it back, you know, I hope I can be the one to do it. But I’m just there to be the best that I can be. God wants me to achieve in the sport. But I definitely believe I have the tools to become heavyweight champion of the world.

Edgar Solorzano: If you were to compare yourself to any old-school heavyweight fighter, who would it be?

Seth Mitchell: I would say somebody like…maybe a Riddick Bowe. Even though he was taller, he threw punches and bunches. He was a good inside fighter, had great power and also used his jab; and I think I do those things pretty well also.

Edgar Solorzano: You have a strong athletic background: You played basketball and you also played football for Michigan State. How do you think that helps you as a boxer?

Seth Mitchell: As far as crossing over from boxing and football, I don’t think there’s really any carryover. The only thing that I say that might have helped me is the ability to cut off the ring. Playing middle linebacker, chasing after the running backs—you know, you have to have good angles. You want to cut them off before they get there. I think my ability to cut off the ring has carried over. Other than that, as far as the actual science of boxing, it doesn’t carry over much. You have to have a good work ethic and discipline in any sport if you want to try to achieve greatness. Working hard, you know, that goes with any sport.

Edgar Solorzano: In basketball and football, you have to memorize a lot of plays. You have to be mentally strong and smart. Do you think that helped you in the sport of boxing?

Seth Mitchell: It's interesting that you asked that question. The ability to be able play football and basketball, especially football, you have to be able to adjust and take some instructions. In boxing, you have to do that as well. When you come back to your corner, the trainer might say he is doing this or keep your right hand up or when he does this you do that. So the ability to take some instructions may have carried over and helped me in boxing—the ability to take instructions in the corner. And this is actually the first time I ever said that, but thinking about the question you just asked me, the ability to be able to take instructions in the corner and go out there and do it has helped me become a better boxer.

Edgar Solorzano: Richard Schaefer has said that you are growing pretty fast and the he believes you could bring the heavyweight division back. What do you think about that?

Seth Mitchell: I think that its good to hear those words come out of Richard Schaefer's mouth, CEO of Golden Boy and Oscar De La Hoya has been giving me the same praise, but at the same time, I understand that this is a business and I have to continue to do what I've been doing. Most important, win impressively. If I was 23-0-1, eight KOs, you know, I wouldn't have been creating the same buzz, and I understand that. So I understand that the buzz I'm getting is because of what I've been doing.

Edgar Solorzano: What is your message to the fans?

Seth Mitchell: I just want to thank all my fans for their prayers. I just want them to continue to pray for me. I will continue to work hard, I will always come in shape, I will always stay focused and will never underestimate my opponents. I will be ready for each and every fight..and they can follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @SethMayhem48

Edgar Solorzano: Okay, thank you for the interview.

There you have it, fight fans. I'm not a future heavyweight champion, but you can follow me on Twitter at @EdgarSolorzano2, and don't forget to follow the talented heavyweight Seth Mitchell at @SethMayhem48.


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