For a brief 3 minutes of the first round, it looked like Seth Mitchell was going to be in for a long night against Chazz Witherspoon. Witherspoon was keeping Mitchell at bay with a good long jab and when Mitchell came in aggressive got countered with a right hand, that in moments of the first round had Mitchell stunned and hurt to the point where Mitchell even mentioned “He was about to make me do the stanky leg”.
Then the message came from the corner, “Seth you have to get inside”. That exactly what he Mitchell did. Although the second round started as much as the first did, you could see Mitchell closing the distance. Chazz’s jab was not as effective and once they traded Mitchell was getting the better of it even though he took big shots from Witherspoon to land his.
By the start of the third round, Mitchell was in his body attacking and Witherspoon’s jab and movement were missing from the first two rounds. Mitchell body work had opened Witherspoon upstairs which Mitchell capitalized with a good head shot that sent Witherspoon to the canvas. Witherspoon’s legs were gone and Mitchell was there to finish. He kept going to the body and cornered Witherspoon on the ropes you could see Witherspoon was not there. With Mitchell landing at will, referee Randy Nuemann halted the contest at 2:31 in the 3rd round and “Mayhem” passed his stiffest test to date.
The power shot is what made this Mitchell’s fight. He landed 44% of his 132 power shot punches changing the pulse of fight. His fight was exciting but did we see a ceiling for Seth Mitchell? He got hit and hurt by the 60 punches Witherspoon landed. His lack of head movement and big rights he ate are a cause for concern. But you also have to remember he’s a football player turned heavyweight boxer with limited amateur experience. There are still things that need to be polished before we consider him a heavyweight threat to the throne known as Klitschko, especially getting caught with big right hands that may drop him coming from a K brother.
During the post-fight press conference, his promoter mentioned that he is on the radar of the kingdom known as Klitschko. More likely than not Oscar De La Hoya mentioned that his next opponent will be a man that rivals the Klitschkos in height but certainly not skill, in heavyweight Michael Grant. Perhaps it’d be interesting to see how Mitchell handles a man that is taller than him.
A lot of reporters were asking Mitchell if he was the answer to a long drought of an American in the heavyweight division. He himself says he doesn’t like being called “The Great American Hope” but knows that it’s a burden that will weigh on his shoulders because of the hype and the backing of Golden Boy and his management team in Al Haymon on top of the praise and hope from HBO that he is the next big thing in the division.
Whatever the case may be, the hype and praise isn’t getting to his head. “I know I have a lot of work to do but we’ll take it one fight at a time but soon enough I’ll be ready to contend for the heavyweight championship of the world”, said Mitchell as he hung out with friends, family, and fans all alike outside Boardwalk Hall celebrating his victory. The down to earth persona might be a key in keeping the hype out of his head and improving his craft. Mitchell played his part and role in providing excitement in a knockout in a heavyweight fight against a solid test. We all will be watching for what’s next.