Mitchell banks on victory

  • Last Updated: June 13 2013, 8:53 BST

Seth Mitchell was just settling into life as the heavyweight division's next best thing when he walked into the fast fists of Johnathon Banks and fell to his first career defeat in November last year.

Seth Mitchell: Looking to prove the doubters wrong
Seth Mitchell: Looking to prove the doubters wrong

Mitchell had blazed to 23 straight victories and showed his heart when he weathered an early storm to stop Chazz Witherspoon in the third round of the bout before his ill-fated meeting with Banks.

As Mitchell fell to the canvas three times against Banks, an opponent not exactly known for his punching power, it seemed Mitchell was destined to go the same way as so many US heavyweights who have failed to live up to the hype.

Mitchell is determined to prove the doubters wrong - and is intent on doing it by stepping straight back in the ring against his former conqueror when they meet again at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 22.

Mitchell said: "It's not often that you get stopped in the second round and get the opportunity to come back and fight on a major network, and I'm definitely going to take advantage.

"The pressure's on me. It's one thing to lose, but another to lose back-to-back to the same fighter. But I've said from day one I want to be in a situation where the stakes are high.

"I definitely think a win will move me closer to title shot, because it says something to accept the challenge of fighting the person who has just stopped you in the second round. It shows the sort of man I am."

Honest Mitchell built up much of his early record against club-fighters before clambering onto a new level when he scored a fifth round victory over fellow one-time prospect Taurus Sykes in Las Vegas in December 2010.

An early stoppage win over fringe contender Timur Ibragimov one year later continued to underline his credentials, and despite his scare against Witherspoon he went in against Banks as a heavy favourite.

Banks had only recently assumed training duties for Wladimir Klitschko following the sad death of Emanuel Steward, and it was widely assumed Banks' distinctly ordinary heavyweight career would peter out as a result.

But now it is Banks' name that is being mentioned in terms of sharing the ring with one of the Ukrainian brothers, and that is something Mitchell is intent on changing by making the most of his second chance.

Mitchell added: "I'm definitely a better fighter and I will go out and show you what I've learned from that fight and what Johnathon Banks has taught me from that fight. I'm excited to be back on the big stage.

"It was my first pro loss and it was a hard loss. It took me a week to get over but I believe everything happens for a reason. Everyone who knows me knows I went back to the drawing board and started preparing diligently.

"I've watched the fight numerous times and I saw a lot of mistakes that I made. I'm not taking anything away from Johnathon, but I promise you it's going to be different on June 22."


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