Seth Mitchell: “I’m ready to challenge the top heavyweights”
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Jan 20, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Muhammad Ali
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: Seth Mitchell's left hook not only shook up Timur Ibragimov last December, but the entire heavyweight division. Though undefeated in 23 fights, Mitchell was something of an unknown quantity. Nobody doubted his power (17 knockouts) but some wondered about his skill. Ibragimov, a longtime European contender, had won 30 of his 33 professional fights. He had the advantage in height, reach, and experience. Mitchell remained confident.
“It felt like pretty much a regular fight,” Mitchell said. “I used to get real bad nerves earlier in my career. You always have little jitters. This particular fight I had no nerves. I started praying. I was wondering what was going on. I knew I wasn’t underestimating this guy. I’d trained real hard, but everything went well. I was ready for the fight. I was tired of training, interviews, and the exposure. I was ready to put my words into action.”  

Mitchell won the first round by the forcing the action and landing more effective punches.  

In round two, his explosive left hook stunned Ibragimov. Mitchell pounced on his foe and landed six powerful right hands. Ibragimov was left staggering and out on his feet. 

Mitchell’s victory impressed many at ringside, including the HBO crew. Even the modest Mitchell was surprised.  

“I didn’t expect to run through him in two rounds. I thought it was going to take about seven or eight rounds. With my size, speed and power, I thought I’d wear him down and get him out of there.”  

A heavyweight who can punch is like a home-run hitter. He's a show stopper. Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 KOs) can punch. He took up boxing after watching ex-Notre Dame player Tom Zbikowski fight.
“I got interested in boxing, after I saw his pro debut,” said Mitchell. “My competitive nature kicked in."  

 The 6’2 inch Mitchell played football in college. He didn’t follow boxing that closely except for a fighter named Tyson.

“I was a casual boxing fan,” he said. “I always liked Mike Tyson. As I got older, I‘d watch the big fights. When Tyson lost, I cried. He was my favorite fighter. I thought he’d beat everybody.”  

Mitchell had ten amateur fights and scored nine knockouts. His 25th birthday was coming fast. It was time to turn professional. The Olympics’ were no longer a viable option.  

Though he stopped Ibragimov with his right hand, Mitchell’s left hook is deadly.  

“I’ve got a pretty good left hook. In the amateurs, I was knocking guys out with my left hand,” said Mitchell. “In my pro career, I’m getting guys out of there with my right. This recent fight, the left hook started the damage.”
Though he carries TNT in both fists, Mitchell works hard on his defense.  

“I think defense is the key to longevity in the sport,” Mitchell said. “It’s like basketball and football. Offense wins game and defense wins championships. I work on my defense a lot.”  

Mitchell would like to be back in the ring sometime in March. His goal is to fight for the heavyweight championship in 2013. Vladimir and Vitali Klitschko hold the titles. Mitchell has watched both brothers fight many times.
“I’ve watched all their fights,” he said. "I haven’t missed any of their fights in the last four years. They're good. They're big and tall and use their height. Both brothers have a different set of skills. The younger one is faster and hits harder. The older brother is tougher and fights you more. The both of them live off their jabs. It’s going to be an uphill battle if you fight either one of them, but I don’t think they're invincible,” Mitchell added.  

Does he feel any added pressure to bring the heavyweight championship home?  

“Not really, nobody can put more pressure on myself than me,” he said. “I believe in myself, I believe in God. I believe he has his plan. I'm just going to do the best that I can do.”

Recent work from Raspanti:
John Scully Interview: From ranking contender to championship trainer John J. Raspanti
"The Last Great Prizefight", by Steven Frederick - A Review John J. Raspanti
David Rodriguez: "I thank God I’m alive" - "The blood was squirting out like a sprinkler" John J. Raspanti

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