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LATEEF KAYODE PREPS SETH MITCHELL
Heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell, (23-0-1, 17 KOs), of Brandywine, Md., will face Timur Ibragimov (30-3-1, 16 KOs), of Uzbekistan, in the most difficult bout of his career on the Khan-Peterson undercard.
Among his sparring partners has been 28-year-old Nigerian cruiserweight prospect Lateef Kayode (18-0, 14 KOs), who is trained by Roach in the Wildcard Boxing Gym in Hollywood, Calif.
MITCHELL ACKNOWLEDGES HIS MOTHER
Mitchell grew up with little knowledge of a father who separated from his mother, Jeanette Mitchell, when he was 5. Mitchell only met his father three times before the man died in 2006.
When Mitchell was 12, he and his family moved from Virginia Beach, Va., to Brandywine, to live with his grandparents.
During Thursday's press conference, at the Washington Convention Center, Mitchell acknowledged his mother in the audience.
"I want to say hi to my mom," said Mitchell. "This is her first time coming to a press conference."
TIRED OF TRAINING
Mitchell is itching to fight.
"I'm tired of training. I'm definitely not underestimating Timur at all. It's going to be a great fight on Saturday night. But most importantly, I'm confident. I know that this is a big step up for me. You don't get a record of 30 wins, three losses and one draw without being stopped without knowing how to fight and to maneuver in the ring," said Mitchell.
"So I respect my opponent a lot. But come Dec. 10, when the bell ring, I'm pretty sure he won't respect me, and I won't respect him either. We're going to go in there and we're going to have a great fight. It's my time."
IBRAGIMOV: 'THIS IS NOT A WEIGHT-LIFTING COMPETITION'
Ibragimov is well aware of Mitchell's athleticism, and the fact that Mitchell was an outstanding high school and collegiate football player as a linebacker.
But Ibragimov believes that he can take Mitchell where he has not gone before, based on the fact that Mitchell has gone six rounds only four times, and eight rounds just once.
Meanwhile, Ibragimov never has been stopped, and 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.
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.
"This is my opinion about what everybody is saying. Of course he's strong. Everybody is saying that he's strong. But this is not a competition to pick up the weights. This is not a weight-lifting competition. We're doing boxing, and I've done my boxing all of my life," said Ibragimov.
"What he doesn't have is experience, and this is for sure. So this is going to be a really, really difficult night for him, because he's never gone past five or six rounds. For my last year, I've have fought Oliver McCall and I've had a lot of fights go the distance. That's what I think that this is going to be a very, very tough night for him."
EDDIE CHAMBERS-SERGEI LIAKHOVICH ON TAP
RING No. 4-rated heavyweight Eddie Chambers (36-2, 18 KOs) will face Sergei Liakhovich (25-4, 16 KOs), and junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado (18-5, 10 KOs) will face counterpart Jesus Soto Karass (24-6-3, 16 KOs) when NBC Sports Network's Fight Night premieres on Jan. 21 at Asylum Arena in Philadelphia, hometowns of Chambers and Rosado.
Liakhovich is coming off a ninth-round stoppage loss to 6-foot-6 Robert Helenius (17-0, 11 KOs), and Chambers cited back problems for pulling out of IBF title eliminator bouts with southpaw contenter Tony Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs) on Oct. 28 and Dec. 17, respectively.
Rosado has won four straight with two knockouts. Soto Karass is coming off consecutive losses by majority decision and unanimous decision to RING No. 7-rated welterweight Mike Jones (26-0, 19 KOs) in November and February, respectively.
Photo by Tim Snow, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Delane Rouse, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com