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SETH MITCHELL LEARNS: WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY
Heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell (23-0-1, 17 KOs), of Brandywine, Md., will be the first bout of an HBO-televised event on Dec. 10 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The 29-year-old Mitchell will face his most difficult opponent to date in 36-year-old Timur Ibragimov (30-3-1, 16 KOs), of Uzbekistan, who is coming off a split-decision loss to former cruiserweight titleholder Jean Marc Mormeck (36-4, 22 KOs) in December that ended Ibragimov's winning streak of nine straight victories, including three stoppages.
Mitchell-Ibragimov will be on the undercard of a main event featuring RING No. 1-rated WBA/IBF junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) in a defense opposite Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs)
But as he readies for the bout, Mitchell has conducted numerous interviews and made several appearances, things that can be a distraction to training. Mitchell, however, said that he has embraced the opportunity as part of the job.
"I think I'm handling it well. I want to be in this position. When the stakes are high, if you're in a position where the stakes are high, you're going in the right direction. This is the position that I want to be in. Everything that I'm doing now is a part of the business, is part of promoting the fight. You have to do that to draw attention to the fight," said Mitchell.
"At the same time, you have to maintain focus. That's not hard for me to do. I want to be in this position. Again, I want to be on HBO again. So I know that I have to go out there and most importantly, I have to win, but at the same I have a responsibility to look good while winning. It's entertainment at the same time. So I'm very focused."
Ibragimov's biggest win was perhaps his unanimous decision in June of last year over Oliver McCall, whose fifth-round knockout of Lennox Lewis earned him the vacant WBC title in February of 1997.
"I'm excited about my opponent that I'm fighting. He definitely has my juices flowing because I know he's a good fighter. He can fight. He's going to come to fight," said Mitchell.
IBRAGIMOV WON'T GO DOWN EASILY, IF AT ALL
Ibragimov is ready to spoil Mitchell's homecoming.
"You know what? I love to go to somebody's home and beat the person in his own home. I love this. I go to Germany and beat Timo Hoffman. I go to Miami and beat Oliver McCall. It's not about this. I think for every fighter, it's the fight of his life because you lose one and that's it and you go down in the ranking and everything and nobody will really respect you," said Ibragimov.
Darchinyan-Mares photo by Tom Casino / Showtime
Anselmo Moreno and Darchinyan training photos by Esther Lin / Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org