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Banks shocks, stops Mitchell in second round
Johnathon Banks on his knockout of Seth Mitchell in the wake of Emanuel Steward's death: "This is dedicated to Emanuel for everything that he did for me since I was 15. It was very emotional considering what has happened over the past few weeks."
ATLANTIC CITY -- Undersized heavyweight Johnathon Banks dropped Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell three times in the second round, where he hammered his opponent with 25 power shots for the knockout before a stunned crowd at Boardwalk Hall.
In victory, Banks (29-1-1, 19 knockouts) ended a streak for Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs) that had gone for 23 consecutive victories, 18 of which were knockouts, including the past 10 straight. Banks also rose to 9-0-1, with five knockouts, as a heavyweight.
"During the fight, he never saw my left hook," said Banks. "Once I had him hurt, he did not know and he wasn't experienced enough to grab and hold and protect himself, and I was able to continue to hurt him."
Mitchell tried to rise after the final knockdown, but referee Eddie Cotton waved an end to the bout.
"I could have gotten through the round, but the referee did what he had to do. I'm good. I feel okay, but he just caught me with a good shot," said Mitchell. "He dazed me, and I'm really upset. He's a counter-puncher, and I threw a shot that was out of reach, and he caught me. But I'll bounce back. It won't spoil my dreams, and it might set me back a little. Don't feel sorry for me, feel sorry for my next opponent."
Banks-Mitchell was the co-feature bout to WBC lightweight beltholder Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) and former WBO junior lightweight beltholder Adrien Broner (24-0, 20 KOs).
Banks attended the Wednesday funeral for Steward, who, prior to his death, charged Banks with training RING IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko for his unanimous-decision victory over Polish-born challenger Mariusz Wach on Nov. 10 after having been Klitschko's trainer throughout a 16-fight winning streak.
"This is dedicated to Emanuel for everything that he did for me since I was 15," said Banks. " It was very emotional considering what has happened over the past few weeks. Seth is a big, strong guy, but boxing is my life, and it's been that way since I was 15. This is just another chapter in my life."
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org