Monday, November 19, 2012

Heavyweight Johnathon Banks demolishes Seth Mitchell in second round

Heavyweight hopeful Johnathon Banks stunned prospect Seth Mitchell at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Nov. 17 by knocking him out in the second round of their bout. Banks, who was one of the late Emanuel Steward’s protégé’s looked like a man possessed as he fought in the memory of his former trainer who passed away from cancer in late October. Banks had been working with Steward since he was just 15 years old and was learning how to become a trainer. Steward did such a good job with him that Banks is now the new trainer of heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

The 30-year-old Mitchell, a former standout college football player at Michigan State, went into the bout as one of America’s top heavyweight prospects, was dominated right from the opening bell and couldn’t handle the power that Banks possessed. The 30-year-old Banks, who hails from Detroit, has now taken over his place in American boxing hierarchy and raised his record to 29-1-1 with 19 Kos. He started his pro boxing career in the cruiserweight ranks and has now gone unbeaten at 9-0-1 as a heavyweight. Mitchell had a 24 lb. advantage over him, but it didn’t mean anything.

Banks nailed Mitchell with a hard left uppercut followed by a right hand in the second round which sent him crashing to the canvas. Mitchell was in obvious trouble even though he managed to get back to his feet before the 10 count. He was dropped again though by a solid right hand to the head and beat the count, but after Banks decked him for the third and final time referee Eddie Cotton jumped in automatically and put a halt to the fight at the 2:37 mark.

After the bout Banks said his left hand did the damage and Mitchell didn’t really know how to react after he was hurt by it. He said Mitchell didn’t have the experience to hold on to him because of his relative lack of experience. Banks was also motivated to dedicate the bout to Steward since he was a father figure and mentor to him, and he once lived with the legendary trainer after Steward took him under his wing. Banks has been training recently with Javon Hill, who is Steward’s nephew.

All of the hard work certainly paid off for Banks as he was working out twice a day with Hill as well as training Klitschko at the same time. Mitchell’s record dropped to 25-1-1 with 19 Kos as he lost for the first time and his hopes of taking on one of the Klitschko brothers was derailed. Mitchell said that he felt he would have survived the onslaught of punches in the second round, but understood why the referee stopped the fight. He said the referee was just doing his job, but he feels fine.

Mitchell said that Banks is a good counterpuncher and he caught him with a good shot that dazed him. He added that he’s upset with the loss, but will bounce back and his dream of becoming a heavyweight champion will live on. He realizes Banks has set him back a little bit, but says he feels sorry for his next opponent as he can’t wait to get back into the ring again and get back on track.

Ian Palmer

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