Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell had been hyped and promoted as the potential savior of American heavyweight boxing. If he's going to reach those heights, it's going to take plenty more time, as the former Michigan State football star was knocked out in the second round tonight by veteran Johnathon Banks.
Banks (29-1-1, 19 KO) lost the first round, but hurt Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KO) in the second round, and dropped him three times en route to the upset stoppage at 2:37 of round two.
It's not a total shock; after all, Mitchell had been buzzed badly earlier this year by Chazz Witherspoon, and had to come back to survive and win that one. Tonight, since Banks is better than Witherspoon, he couldn't overcome the buzzing, and he met the harsh reality of professional boxing: The schooling matters, and Seth Mitchell doesn't quite have it just yet.
This is not something where we should instantly write off Mitchell, a 30-year-old prospect. It's up to him how he handles this. Heavyweights can peak late, and Mitchell has time. This is not a completely devastating loss; heavyweights with Mitchell's personality, who fight the way he does, will get chances to right the ship.
"I want to congratulate Johnathon on a hell of a performance. He caught me. I thought I definitely won the first round. In the second round, our main focus was to not reach on him, but I threw a looping shot and reached, and he did what he was supposed to do," Mitchell said after the fight.
"I'm going to bounce back from this. I'm going to look at the tape and see what I did wrong," he continued, showing the attitude that has made many like him even though he's clearly been pushed a little harder than he was ready for given his inexperience.
Banks dedicated the fight to the man who brought him into the boxing world as a 15-year-old, Emanuel Steward. One week after training Wladimir Klitschko to a win over Mariusz Wach, Banks has scored the biggest win of his career, and moved his way up the heavyweight rankings.
Our live coverage continues here, with Adrien Broner facing Antonio DeMarco in the HBO main event.