A Saturday press conference is in the works for smack-talkers Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi.
Q&A: Banks confirms thumb injury scuttles Mitchell rematch
Heavyweight Johnathon Banks was advised by Wladimir Klitschko not to face Seth Mitchell after having suffered a broken right thumb during a sparring session on Monday.
RingTV.com spoke with heavyweight Johnathon Banks in the wake of his having suffered a broken right thumb that has forced him out of a Feb. 16 rematch with Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell, who lost by second-round knockout to Banks in November.
Banks (29-1-1, 19 knockouts) was to face Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs) at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, site of their first bout.
Ironically, in late May of last year, it had been Mitchell who had been forced to pull out of a scheduled July 14 bout against Banks as a result of suffering an injured right hand.
Banks-Mitchell II was to be part of a card whose main event will match WBC lightweight beltholder Adrien "The Problem" Broner against Gavin Rees, with an undercard super middleweight bout featuring Cameroon native Sakio Bika against unbeaten Nikola Sjekloca of Montenegro in a WBC eliminator.
In the absence of Banks-Mitchell II, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said Bika-Sjekloca could become "the opening bout. So we're working on that."
Before facing Mitchell, Banks had long served as a sparring partner for the Ukrainian Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir. Wladimir is the RING, IBF, WBA and WBO champ, and Vitali is the WBC's beltholder.
In addition, from the age of 15 Banks had been tutored by the late Hall of Fame trainer, Emanuel "Manny" Steward, who died in October at the age of 68, and whose funeral Banks attended four days prior to defeating Mitchell.
Before his death, Steward charged Banks with preparing Wladimir Klitschko for his unanimous-decision victory over Mariusz Wach on Nov. 10 -- a week prior to Banks' stoppage of Mitchell.
In this Q&A below, Banks discussed the circumstances leading up to his injury, which occurred on Monday in Detroit, and was diagnosed on Tuesday at Henry Ford Hospital, he said.
RingTV.com: Can you discuss how the injury developed regarding your thumb?
RingTV.com: When did you realize how bad it was?
RingTV.com: How was training going to that point?
Come on man, I would never underestimate a guy like Seth. Never in a thousand years. So, therefore, I trained hard and did everything I could.
I was doing everything that I could to win this fight again, but the only problem is that I wound up breaking my thumb in the process.
RingTV.com: Do you hope to have this fight rescheduled?
But if they don't want to reschedule it, that's fine. I'm hearing that people want to match him up with Bryant Jennings now.
If that's what they want to do, and let me fight the winner of that, then that's fine. However they want to do it, I'm good with it. But I thought that the fight should be rescheduled or something.
RingTV.com: At what point do you become frustrated with all of the adversity that you have faced regarding fights involving Mitchell?
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org