Seth Mitchell on his rematch with Johnathon Banks: "I'm just ready to fight. I'm ready to get back into the ring...You'll see a big improvement in my defense, my ring generalship. Just going back to the basics."
Heavyweight contender Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell could return to the ring on June 22 at Barclays Center on the Showtime-televised undercard of a bout between WBC lightweight titleholder Adrien "The Problem" Broner and WBA welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez.
The opponent for Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs), of Brandywine, Md., will likely be Johnathon Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs), who KO'd Mitchell in two rounds last November. Banks-Mitchell II was slated for February until Banks suffered a broken right thumb.
RingTV.com caught up to Mitchell, 30, and discussed topics ranging from Banks to 41-year-old Tony Thompson's second-round knockout of England's David Price.
A fighter who has twice been stopped by RING, IBF, WBA and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko, Thompson has served as a mentor and sparring partner for Mitchell in the past.
Mitchell also addressed the recent rift between Golden Boy and HBO, with the network announcing last month that it will no longer purchase fights from the West Coast-based promoter.
RingTV.com: How has the layoff affected you?
Seth Mitchell: I'm just ready to fight. I'm ready to get back into the ring. I was ready to fight on Feb. 16. It's been a long layoff again, but I'm just using that time wisely to continue to get better.
I've been staying sharp without feeling mentally and physically fatigued in the gym. I think that I've done a good job with that, but I'm ready to fight, man. I know that my fans are missing me.
I'm missing being in the ring whenever I've watched these fights on television. I get that little itch, man, and I'm excited.
RingTV.com: Given that some of your biggest fights have been on HBO, what are your thoughts on the announcement that HBO will no longer buy Golden Boy fights?
SM: It was something that came as a big surprise to me as it did to a lot of people, I would guess. But I have nothing bad to say about HBO. I'm just somebody who wants to fights. Whichever network I'm fighting on, that's where I'll go.
Like I've always said, I'm not going to be in a boring fight. Whether I win or I lose, it's going to be an exciting fight for people. So people need to tune in and watch and they're going to be entertained by me.
It's unfortunate that move means that a lot of fights won't get made. Golden Boy has a good stable of fighters, and that means that that is just another barrier.
But I think that the fighters are just going to fight, whatever network they're on, but it's going to hurt the fans more than anything. It will hurt the spectators.
RingTV.com: Your thoughts on your sometime sparring partner Tony Thompson's knockout of David Price?
SM: I talked to Tony about that. That's my big brother in this game. We've been working with each other for a long time and I've been working with him ever since I've started.
So I was definitely excited for him. It was a big fight for both men, but I knew that Tony Thompson has a lot of experience and he can fight, too.
I knew that if David wasn't ready for that that it would cause problems for him. So he got caught, and Tony did what he did.
RingTV.com: Were you in any way relating to what Price went through given your loss to Banks?
SM: I heard that he was coming after Tony and things of that nature, but I don't know if he underestimated him. I don't underestimate anybody myself when I step into the ring with them.
But I just knew that Tony Thompson had been in there with Wladimir Klitschko twice, and that he's deceivingly good. Tony really doesn't have one-punch power, but he can crack a little bit.
He's deceiving with little things that he does. He's tricky and he can fight both ways. It doesn't seem like he's throwing fast punches, but you always seem to get hit.
So I just knew that it was going to be a big fight for David Price and a different level of competition stepping up to fight Tony Thompson.
RingTV.com: Anything else that you want to express to your fans?
SM: My career is in good hands. I'm very fortunate that I'll be able to have my next fight be against Johnathon Banks. I think that that's big. At the time, it was a chance to get right back onto HBO after losing.
"I lost on HBO and HBO was picking up my fight again, so I was coming back. I thought that was big, and now, that's probably not going to be the case. Most likely, it will be on Showtime.
I'm very happy to go on Showtime and to fight and to put on a good show. But my career is good. The main thing is that I'm no fooling myself and I'm not trying to fool anybody else.
I've got to go out here and win my next fight against Jonathon Banks, and that's what I plan on doing. I don't want to give too much away, but just know that I'll be a better fighter.
You'll see a big improvement in my defense, my ring generalship. Just going back to the basics. Nothing that I didn't know before, but it's just that the saying is sometimes you have to go through something tough before the light comes on.
The lights have definitely come on, and that's why I'm so excited to go back out there and show it. But I promise you that you will see a different fighter.
Right now, it doesn't matter to me what any of the other fighters are doing. I have to concentrate on what I'm doing and that's been my main focus. Winning my next fight.
All of the other stuff doesn't mean anything to me because if I don't go out here and win this fight, then it means nothing. So I have to go out there and win this fight.
Then we can talk about the other fights, and I'm looking forward to fighting a lot of them. My fans, I know that they're anxious. They keep hitting me up on Twitter and on Facebook.
They want to know when I'm getting back into the ring. So most likely, it will be sometime in June, and it will be against Jonathon Banks, and I'm excited and I just want everybody to tune in.
Photo by Delane Rouse, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com