Sunday, June 04, 2023  |



Mitchell-Alexander a crossroads heavyweight battle

Fighters Network

A lot is riding on the line tonight between LaRon Mitchell and Scott Alexander.

The winner could be knocking on contender status among today’s heavyweights, especially with the division so wide open.

Mitchell and Alexander square off in a 10-round bout at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California.

Mitchell (14-0, 13 knockouts) has the pedigree between the two fighters. The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials finalist, who defeated Dominic Breazeale and Donovan Dennis in the amateur ranks, has faced the better opposition as a pro.

The 36-year-old Mitchell, who is a physical education teacher at a junior high school in Oakland, California, survived a third-round knockdown to grind out an eight-round unanimous decision over Mario Heredia on Aug. 26.

It was the first time as a pro Mitchell fought to the final bell, as up until that point he had stopped modest opposition, including a third-round knockout over Epifanio Mendoza on June 24.

“I never thought when I started out that I would be here,” said Mitchell, who resides in San Francisco. “I feel like I’ve fought my entire career with my back against the wall. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and I have to make the most of this opportunity.

“My goal is to become a world champion, regardless who’s in front of me. I’m not trying to make a statement. I’m just looking to beat Scott.”

Alexander (12-1-2, 6 KOs) enters the Mitchell fight unbeaten in his last four bouts since his unanimous-decision loss to Rodney Hernandez in March of last year.

Alexander, who has been trained by Henry Ramirez over the last two years, has yet to fight past the sixth round.

“This is an opportunity for us,” said Alexander, who is originally from Los Angeles. “I have to turn the non-believers into believers. I have to make up for my lack of experience with my athleticism. I’m a boxer-puncher. Whatever he does, I have to make the adjustments.”

Promoter Ken Thompson believes Mitchell and Alexander have what it takes to reach the elite level of boxing.

“This is without question the best fight in Southern California in years (between heavyweights),” said Thompson. “These are two great fighters. They’re ready to take belts and they’re world champion material.”

Welterweight Juan Ruiz (16-0, 10 KOs) of Colombia will make his U.S. debut in an eight-round bout against Wilberth Lopez (15-5, 10 KOs).

Juan Reyes (12-3-3, 2 KOs) squares off against Cesar Villarraga (9-2, 4 KOs) in a six-round lightweight bout.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.