One on One With Sharmba Mitchell!

By G. Leon

03/05/2005

One on One With Sharmba Mitchell!

Mitchell returns on Tyson undercard!

GL: Boxingtalk understands that you'll be returning to the ring on the Mike Tyson-Kevin McBride undercard. Is this true and will Joshua Clottey be your opponent as we've been hearing? "Actually, my manager mentioned that name to me as one of the guys being brought up. But like I told him, I need something significant. I don't want anything easy. And that's not an easy fight, but what I'm saying, I don't want anything easy that isn't going to take me anywhere. I'm ranked as a welterweight and junior welterweight. There's no need for me to come to welterweight just to fight Joe Blow. Joshua Clottey is a good fighter but he's definitely not a ranked fighter."

"If Shane came back and just fought anybody at welterweight to get his feet wet it would have been different. But he came back against a tough, young hot fighter to make his mark again at 147 pounds. And that's what I want to do. I want to fight one of the top contenders in the division. I've never fought anyone below the top five and I'm not going to to start now."

GL: In other words, you're looking to fight at 147 against someone that will put you in a position to fight for a title, correct?

Sharmba Mitchell: "Exactly. And that's not a fight that's going to do that. I'm in the top ten as a welterweight and I just want to fight someone that's going to put me higher. The Tyson card is a great show to fight on and I want to make it a significant fight since there's going to be such a great viewing audience for this fight."

GL: Sharmba, Clottey is ranked in the top ten by the WBC and he's ranked in the top five of the WBO rankingsĀ at weltwerweight. Is that not good enough?

SM: "I never knew that If that is true, hey listen, I've never had a problem with fighting Clottey. I'm looking to fight someone recognized at 147, but I'm not ducking anyone at all. And if he's ranked high like you say then it's definitely a fight that could happen. If he's ranked that high we should be making sure that we're fighting for something. An eliminator, something."

"For me this next fight on the Tyson card is not about the money. But we're going to make this happen. I was going to retire but something inside told me not to do it because I know 147 is my weight. I also like what I'm seeing happen at 147 because it's becoming a division that's stacked like 140. With guys like Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Antonio Margarito and myself, there's a lot of exciting fights that could be made."

GL: Following your lackluster showing against Kostya Tszyu how important is it for you to make a serious statement on the Tyson-McBride undercard?

SM: "Very important. And I'm not the only person on the show in this boat. I think my boy Mike needs to come back and put on a stellar performance as well, but yeah, looking great in this fight is very important to me. People love to count people out but not everyone is washed up. Like Shane Mosley said, people aren't washed up because they lose to good fighters, some people are, but others aren't."

GL: So the people who feel that you're done following the Tszyu fight are only helps motivate you?

SM: "I love it when people doubt me. I think I'm getting younger with age. My uncle once told me that our family does a lot better at an older age. I think my youth is going to kick in and you're going to see a big difference in me at 147. I probably should have been fighting at welterweight for the last five years."

GL: Does returning to the ring in your hometown make things easier for you?

SM: "You know it's weird, because the first time I won the world title, I defended my belt three times at home and sometimes it could be a distraction. With this being on a Mike Tyson fight, there's going to be a lot of requests that get turned down because I'm just focusing on do what I need to do on June 11. My phone will be off so don't even call for tickets."

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

SM: "Look out for me. I will be coming. I love everything that's happening at 147. I feel that a lot of starpower is coming back to welterweight and there's going to be a lot of great fights for boxing fans to look forward to."

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