EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: SETH MITCHELL
By John McCormick
JM: How satisfying was Saturday's win over Chazz Witherspoon? You faced adversity when you got hurt in the first round but you came back to get the win.
Seth Mitchell: It was very satisfying. After the win, I got very emotional because that was the first time that I had been in that type of adversity and to pull through like that and finish the fight off the way that I did, I felt very blessed to be able to suck it up, dig down, and pull the win out.
JM: What was going through your mind as Witherspoon was landing those shots in the first round?
Seth Mitchell: Coherently I was there. I saw one of him, not two or three of him. My legs weren’t there though because he got me with an equilibrium shot. The whole time I saw him coming after me and my whole thing was, when he got close enough, tie him up and get out of the first round. After the first round, I was in my corner and I told myself, “tonight is not the night I am going to lose. I need to step it up and come out better in the second round.”
JM: What specific instructions did your corner give you after the first round?
SM: My corner was telling me I had my hands up for the most part but I was bending over and being a sitting duck. A lot of times you are taught that even if your opponent has their guard up, punch right through the guard. That is exactly what Witherspoon did. I was in a great position for him to hit me because I was bending down. From that point on, I had to correct that. Another thing that threw me off was his jab. He had a great jab. Witherspoon came out with a great game plan and he won the first round but I still put a lot of pressure on him, which I think took a toll on him, even though he dominated the first round.
JM: We have talked before about a possible fight down the road with either of Klitschko brothers. After Saturday night, do you feel closer to being ready to challenge one of the Klitschkos or do you think maybe you might need a little more time than you previously thought?
SM: This is boxing and you going to get hit. It is not about it not happening, it is about how you are going to react when it happens. I feel I handled myself like a future champion. I know that there are a lot of things that I have to continue to work on but I learn on the job and that I will continue to improve and get better. I still think that it is the same time line, maybe another four or five fights against the right competition. I just need to work on some technical things but it doesn’t change our thought process. We just need to go back to the drawing board, get through it and continue to get better. But I still feel that I will be ready to face one of them the first half of next year.
JM: How many more fights do you see yourself having in 2012?
SM: Another two or three times. Definitely another two times considering there are no injuries, three times the most.
JM: How much are you going to watch the tape of this past Saturday and attempt to learn from it?
SMl: I have already watched it 20 or 30 times. I am a student of the game and I am going to go back to the drawing board to try and correct some of those things that I did wrong. Clearly, he destroyed me in the first round and his coach was saying “Oh he never been hit before” and “How is he going to react when he gets hit?”-- which is true, I have never been hit before like that in sparring or in a fight. But in round three it wasn’t a case of me landing a lucky shot. When I came out for round two, I was on Chazz and I dug down deep and destroyed him in the second round, and finished him off in the third round. I always knew I had the dog in me but you never know how you’ll react until you're put in that situation. I am proud that I passed that test with flying colors.
JM: Some have already suggested that you could possibly be the savior of American heavyweights one day. I know that there is a lot of pressure involved but do you feel even more pressure due to these types of expectations?
SM: I don’t feel the pressure at all. I just so happen to be American. I fight for my family. If I was a different ethnicity or came from another country, I would still be fighting for my family. I just so happen to be American so I am going to represent and continue to try and get better. I am very humble, I don’t boast and I don’t brag because anything can happen. I was almost smoked in the first round and it could happen to anybody but the important thing is how I finished.
JM: This Saturday is a big weekend for boxing. Who are you picking to win the main event: Floyd Mayweather or Miguel Cotto?
SM: Cotto is my favorite fighter but Mayweather is the best fighter so I have to go with Mayweather.
JM: Any closing thoughts for the fans?
SM: I know a lot of my followers and supporters said a lot of prayers before the fight and during the fight. That first round was scary and I am sure a lot of my supporters were praying for me, so I want to thank them because their prayers really helped me pull out that fight. Continue to pray for me and I will continue to work hard. Also, all of my fans can follow me on twitter at @SethMayhem48.
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