Unbeaten heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell will face Chazz Witherspoon on the undercard of the rematch between RING light heavyweight champ Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson on April 28 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told RingTV.com on Monday that he began working out the details of Mitchell-Witherspoon on Saturday while attending former WBC/IBF junior welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander’s 10-round unanimous decision over Marcos Maidana at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Schaefer completed the deal on Monday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the first day of a three-city promotional tour for WBC welterweight beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s challege for the WBA junior middleweight belt owned by Miguel Cotto.
“The fight is confirmed. It’s going to be Seth Mitchell against Chazz Witherspoon underneath the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight from Atlantic City,” said Schaefer.
“I actually met on Saturday with [HBO’s Sports Vice President of Programmming] Kery Davis in St. Louis, and, today I met with [HBO’s President of Sports] Ken Hershman in Puerto Rico prior to the press conference to finalize everything.”
Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 knockouts), of Brandywine, Md., is coming off December’s HBO-televised second-round knockout of Timur Ibragimov (30-4, 1, 22 KOs) that earned him his 22nd consecutive victory and his 17th knockout during that run at The Washington Convention Center.
A Philadelphia native now living in Paulsboro, N.J., Witherspoon (30-2, 22 KOs), has scored four straight knockouts since, himself, being stopped by southpaw contender Tony Thompson in the ninth round in December of 2009 at Boarwalk Hall.
“I think that with Chazz coming from Philadelphia, and Seth coming from the D.C. area, I think that this is the perfect location. I think that both fighters will have a lot of fans coming to Atlantic City,” said Schaefer.
“I know that when I talked to Seth and [his manager] Sharif Salim, they were telling me that there were going to be bus loads of people coming from the D.C. area to watch Seth. Seth has really built up a tremendous following, and I really think that the fight is perfect for that location.”
“It’s just tremendous for us to be the co-main event two times in a row on an HBO championship series event. You can’t really can’t ask for much more. Being matched against Ibragimov was a good test. He had never been stopped, and Seth was the first one to stop him. But to be able to get this second opportunity, we don’t take it for granted,” said Salim.
“You’re talking about a guy with 25 fights. Yes, he’s exciting, and he brings it. You know, 11 of his last 12 have ended with stoppages. Now we have Chazz Witherspoon, who is a very good American heavyweight fighter. But to be on this stage, once again, it’s a great sequence and a part of being developmental. It’s a good step, and I think that we’re following a good track.”
The match up has Mitchell, a former scholarship linebacker at Michigan State who graduated with a degree in criminal justice, against Witherspoon, a 30-year-old former high school basketball and track star who turned down athletic scholarships for an academic one to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
Witherspoon, who graduated from St. Joseph’s with degree in pharmaceutical marketing, was an alternate to the 2004 Olympic team.
“Chazz Witherspoon’s record speaks for itself. He’s a credible opponent. It’s two, American heavyweights who are college graduates. One is named ‘The Gentleman,’ one is named, ‘Mayhem,’ so we’re complete and polar opposites. So there’s a story line,” said Mitchell, whose nickname is “Mayhem.”
“It’s a home fight for me, but then again, it’s not a home fight for me. But I think that I will definitely have a home crowd coming out to support me. He’s going to come to fight, as will I. I’m going to be ready, and I definitely expect to win.”
The second cousin of former heavyweight champion, Tim Witherspoon, Witherspoon’s other loss was by third-round disqualification in June of 2008 against Chris Arreola in a clash of unbeatens.
“I didn’t expect to stop Timur in two rounds. I didn’t think that it was going to go the distance, but I thought that it would last into the later rounds. I don’t go into my fights looking for knockouts, they just happen. I have a pretty good boxing IQ. I definitely want to impress and I’m an entertainer,” said Mitchell.
“It’s about selling yourself. I want to go out there and keep this knockout streak going, but at the same time, we have a gameplan. You know, stay behind my jab, keep your eyes open and let your hands flow and everything else should take care of itself.”
PETERSON-KHAN II PRESS TOUR BEGINS IN MARCH
The press tour for Peterson-Khan II will begin on March 13 in London, and cointinue over the next two days with stops in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, Schaefer said.
“I’m going to be flying to London, and we’re going to kick off the press tour in London with Lamont and Amir. That’s going to be happening on that Tuesday,” said Schaefer. “Then, the next day, we’re going to fly to Washington, D.C., on a Wednesday and then on Thursday, we’re going to do Los Angeles.”