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Mitchell: ‘I’m not ducking anybody’

Fighters Network

WASHINGTON, D.C. — caught up to once-beaten heavyweight Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell, of Brandywine, Md., at an open workout for Washington, D.C. native Lamont Peterson, who was preparing for his eighth-round knockout of ex-titleholder Kendall Holt on Feb. 22 in defense of his IBF junior welterweight belt.

Peterson signed with Golden Boy last month, making him a promotional stablemate of Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 knockouts), whose Feb. 16 rematch with Johnathon Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) was canceled after Banks suffered a broken right thumb.

Coming off a second-round knockout to Banks in November, Mitchell was left in a state of flux, even as the promoter of Philadelphia-based heavyweight Bryant Jennings (16-0, 8 KOs) claimed that Jennings was willing to replace Banks.

In December of 2011, Mitchell knocked out Timur Ibragimov in the second round on the undercard of Peterson’s disputed split-decision victory over Amir Khan at the Washington Convention Center before 10,000 fans.

Mitchell shared his thoughts with about his future, including the potential for being paired with Peterson on a card, yet again. Were you surprised by Lamont’s signing with Golden Boy?

Seth Mitchell: I didn’t know anything about it. I saw it on the internet as well. I was just happy for him and I wish him the best. I think it’s a great move for him.

The 140-pound division is loaded. So is the 147-pound division. I think there will be plenty of opportunities for him to get big fights.

I have nothing but good things to say about Golden Boy. Thus far, in my career, I’m very pleased and very happy with the way they’ve moved me.

I’m happy with our communication. I have nothing but positive things to say about Golden Boy, and I am glad that he’s joined the family. Would you like to be on a card with Peterson again?

SM: As you know, we were on the same card before. There are a lot of fighters in this area, and now that Lamont is with Golden Boy, I’m happy about that.

Having already turned out the place at the Washington Convention Center, hopefully, another situation like that is not far from being in the making. Disappointed about your fight not coming off?

SM: I was prepared. I was very motivated for this rematch against Johnathon Banks. I was ready for this fight. I’m very disappointed that it happened, but things do happen.

This close to the fight, I wish we could have found an opponent to still fight on Feb. 16. But I’m just ready to go right now.

So when that phone rings for my next fight, I’ll be ready. I’m in great shape, mentally and physically. I’m in a good place and I’m in good spirits. I’m ready to fight, though. Your thoughts on Jennings saying that he wanted you?

SM: Hell, I wanted them to make the fight. I’m not ducking anybody. I heard that he said that I was ducking him. But we could fight tomorrow.

If that is a fight that they want to happen, I’m ready for that. Once I read that, I was like, “Let’s do it.” It wasn’t like there was going to be any major adjustments.

He was about the same height and the same weight and their styles weren’t too much different, his and Banks. If it was an opponent that was a taller opponent, then I might not have wanted that fight right then.

But I definitely wanted that fight, because I wanted to fight on Feb. 16. I had put in a lot of work and I was ready, and I just want to fight. Are you hopeful of the Banks rematch coming to fruition?

M: I know that Johnathon Banks is out for at least until May. I think that he said that he has to be out for six to eight weeks with no contact on his hand.

Then, it’s probably going to take him another five or six weeks to get ready. So I definitely want to fight before May. So, most likely, my next fight is not going to be against Johnathon Banks.

I’m not 100 percent confident of that, but I’m not waiting around to fight him if he’s not going to be ready to fight before May. I’ll be fighting before the end of March, and I’m pretty confident of that.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]