I don't now much about Seth Mitchell aside from his background as a standout linebacker at Michigan State, his being from Maryland, and fighting on the under card of the Amir Khan/Lamont Peterson title fight in Washington DC this weekend. I've seen a few of his fights and from what I've seen I'm a little too hesitant in labeling Seth Mitchell as the next greatest hope for an American heavyweight champion. Our last great heavyweights who went on to become undisputed champions during the Mike Tyson era were Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield. Aside from that the last great heavyweight not named Klitschko was Lennox Lewis who managed to be the last man standing before the dawn of the Klitschko era after a lackluster gift victory over Vitali Klitschko in 2003.
It would be great for America and for boxing if a guy like Seth could once and for all break the decade long malaise that has utterly diluted and crippled the heavyweight division. I don't fault the Klitschkos because it's not their job to find worthy opponents good enough to beat them. They've simply played by the rules and fought whoever they had out there at the time. Now, Chris Byrd, Lamon Brewster, and Shannon Briggs obviously weren't good enough to make a serious run at carrying on the American legacy of heavyweight champions but what can you do about that? All three had seen better days and eventually the Klitschkos would exact revenge and regain the titles. Then David Haye of Great Britain comes along and puts on one of the most successful (for him anyway) promotional ploys we've seen in the heavyweight division in years. He followed Wladimir Klitschko to an airport I believe and he challenged him to a fight. The fight was suppose to take place two years ago but was put off because Haye was injured. Finally after negotiations the bout was scheduled for July 2nd of this year in Hamburg at the Imtech Arena.
This fight was promoted on both sides of the Atlantic as the most important heavyweight bout in decades because David Haye was viewed by many, and perhaps looking back unjustifiably, as the most credible opponent and the greatest threat to end the reign of the Klitschkos in the heavyweight division. Instead David Haye, broken toe or no broken toe laid the biggest egg on the biggest stage in boxing. So now we're left here wondering and for many of us hoping a guy like Seth Mitchell who comes off as a more reasonable and light years less arrogant and aware of himself as David Haye can eventually accomplish what Haye could not. Although I'm one to believe that by the time Seth Mitchell is fully prepared to challenge for a world title Vitali will be in retirement after he defeats David Haye who decided to end his publicity stunt er I mean retirement to fight the elder Klitschko in March of 2012.
That leaves Wladimir who though he's in his middle 30s has a few more years left in him provided the opponents are worth keeping the train moving down the tracks. A legitimate American contender with the right skill set and a good record might be the remedy to what has ailed the division since the early 2000s. I just hope we're not putting too much pressure on Seth or placing empty hype into a prospect that simply isn't good enough to challenge the kings of the hill.