Seth Mitchell will be back on July 7, likely against Chauncy Welliver. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Lem Satterfield reports that heavyweight hopeful Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell will return on July 7 on HBO, in the co-feature fight to Amir Khan's return. Khan still looks likely to face WBC junior welterweight titleholder Danny Garcia, and Mitchell might be matched with veteran Chauncy Welliver.
Welliver (53-5-5, 20 KO) has packed in a lot of fights over his 11-year pro career, and seems a lot older than he actually is, as the Washington-born, New Zealand resident is just 29 years old. He's also won 18 straight fights and made occasional noise about taking a big fight, but realistically none of those 18 straight wins have been of particularly high quality, and the last time he faced a contender, he was dominated and stopped by Odlanier Solis in October 2008.
Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KO) is coming off of a shaky but impressive performance against Chazz Witherspoon on the Hopkins-Dawson show on April 28. Mitchell was badly hurt in the first round, but stayed on his feet and showed some recuperative powers that we didn't know he had, storming back to stop Witherspoon in the third round.
The worry is that Witherspoon is not much of a puncher at all, and even with the saying that in the heavyweights, any one punch can change a fight, it's a bit of a concern that Chazz had him so badly wobbled. I also personally have a small concern with Mitchell's post-fight crying, but that's a personal gut feeling more than anything. It's not that I think it's unmanly or anything like that, it just seemed a bit odd and like a possible mental warning sign. Maybe it wasn't, but I would be lying if I said I was sure it was nothing. It might be something.
This probably isn't the sort of fight anyone's dying to see with Seth, but realistically I think a sideways step is a good call right now. He's staying very active and there's plenty of time for him to get into the contender stages of his career. Right now he remains a work in progress and showed some flaws against Witherspoon that can be corrected with fights like this.