Exclusive Interview: Sharmba Mitchell

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Sharmba Mitchell

GL: What's good Sharmba? Is everything in camp where you want it to be a few weeks removed from the biggest fight of your life? "Yeah. God works in mysterious ways. I would have been in Vero Beach where my training camp is, but it brought me to California and to a good situation. God intended for me to be here so I can get myself into real tip top shape to get Tszyu up outta there."

GL: Tszyu hasn't fought in nearly two years and you've kept yourself very busy during his inactive period. How much of a factor will that be come fight time?

Sharmba Mitchell: "I can't focus on him not fighting for two years. Some people can adapt to it and some people can't. I don't know what he's been doing in between that time...all I know is he had injuries and he might have been working out during that time. I'm treating this fight like he's been staying as active as I have. I'm not going to treat it any differently, I'm training hard."

GL: You're getting a second shot at Tszyu. Many fighters have suffered close or controversial losses and never gotten a second chance....

SM: (cutting in) "That's very important and that's a big thing in boxing. You rarely get two people on this level to fight each other again after so much time passes. I just feel that the way the fight ended the last time, there was nothing I could do. I'm making the most of this chance."

GL: In this first fight Tszyu fought a very rough fight. You wound up on the floor several times. Are you better prepared to handle those kind of tactics this time around?

SM: "My knee is better and I'm not injured anywhere, I'm a lot stronger and a lot smarter. He's the one with the injuries this time so maybe I'll do the roughhousing this time to give it back to him. The bottom line is, he couldn't deal with my boxing skills then and he's definitely not going to be able to deal with them now."

GL: In hindsight was it a blessing in disguise that the fight got postponed another year since it's now happening in the United States as compared to Russia, where it was originally scheduled?

SM: "Maybe it is. It's like I said, God works in mysterious ways. The time we were supposed to be in Moscow, they had a bombing on the train and we would have been in that area. Now we're here in the States, it's happening in Arizona and my thing is, let's do it. Let's get it on so I can get these weights that have been tearing off my shoulders for the past two and half years off of me."

GL: Is this without a doubt your career defining fight?

SM: "Well, I'd have to say it's probably one of them. It notes that, yes I am one of the best pound for pound fighters in there."

GL: Most people expect you to try to out slick Tszyu, out speed Tszyu and make him look rusty. Will that be the case?

SM: "I'm going to do all of that, but I'm going to pulling out a lot of tricks for this one. I have to do a lot of different things and the boxing I'm getting here is making me have to do that now. I'm not just sparring with any old Joe's. I'm sparring with the best in the world, I'm not sparring with cupcakes."

GL: Who are you sparring with Sharmba?

SM: Right now we have Shane Mosley down here because he's getting ready for Winky. We have Steve Forbes here and I have another guy coming in from Russia tomorrow."

GL: You've told me that this is your last fight at junior welterweight. Do you expect making 140 to be more difficult than ever for this fight?

SM: "Not that bad because I've been in the gym and I've been keeping myself in shape. I've been doing everything I need to do and my weight is right where it needs to be right now."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

SM: "I want to tell my fans and all the people who read Boxingtalk, I will be the new undisputed junior welterweight champion of the world."


Send questions and comments to: gleon@boxingtalk.net