Seth Mitchell Pursues 20th Win, Fifth Straight Knockout
The 6-foot-2, muscular, 28-year-old Mitchell, who weighed 243.5 pounds for his last fight, is coming off of an Oct. 15, first-round knockout over Derrick Brown. Mitchell has a record of 19-0-1 with 13 knockouts, as well as a 17-match winning streak entering his clash with the 35-year-old Sykes (25-6-1, seven KOs).
Mitchell-Sykes will take place on the under card of an HBO televised main event featuring WBA champion Amir Khan (23-1, 17 KOs) of England and WBA interim titlist Marcos Rene Maidana (29-1, 27 KOs). In another bout, rising southpaw Victor Ortiz (28-2-1, 22 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., meets Lamont Peterson (28-1, 14 KOs) of Washington, D.C.
On July 31, Mitchell scored a first-round stoppage of Philadelphia southpaw Derek Bryant on the undercard of a main event featuring WBA and WBO lightweight (135 pounds) champion, Juan Manuel Marquez against Juan Diaz at The Mandalay Bay Hotel. Sykes went the 10-round distance in an June, 2007 loss to former world champion Hasim Rahman.
Mitchell spoke to FanHouse concerning his progress and his approach to Sykes in this Q&A.
Seth 'Mayhem' Mitchell Dreams of Heavyweight Championship Glory
Seth Mitchell Gets Fourth Consecutive KO, Second Straight in First Round
Seth Mitchell Pursues 16th Straight Win, Fourth Consecutive KO
'Mayhem' Mitchell Wreaks Havoc on Derek Bryant in First Round
Unbeaten Seth Mitchell Pursues 10th KO
FanHouse: How are you feeling about your conditioning heading into this fight with Taurus Sykes?
Seth Mitchell: I feel good. As usual, I'm in great shape. I feel like I'm ready to go out here and take care of The Bull. Record-wise, you know, he has a decent record. He's fought some good competition, you know? He went the distance with Hasim Rahman.
Things of that nature. You know, my last couple of fights have been opponents with his type of record, and I've done very well against them. So at this stage of my career, you know, I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to getting this win out of the way.
This will be my 20th victory, so that's a milestone to be 20-0 in boxing and I'm looking forward to 2011 after I take care of business on Dec. 11.
Are you expecting this to be more of a test of your overall skills than your past two or three fights, which were knockouts in two rounds or less?
Like I have said before -- and this is the God's honest truth -- I don't go out there looking audacious and wild and trying to bum-rush my opponents. You know, I typically try to break them down.
But it's just that I've been fortunate enough that in my last couple of fights, I've been fortunate that in three fights in a row my fights have not gone past the second round. But, I'm definitely not expecting this fight to go the distance.
And that's not because I'm underestimating Taurus Sykes, because I'm not. He has a good record and he's a veteran and he's been in there with some tough opposition. But I just think that I'm starting to really get on top of my game.
I'm in great shape and I'm still learning. But I just think that I'm going to bring a little bit too much to the table for him to be able to handle. I'm not saying that he's going to fall in one or two or however many rounds.
But I will definitely be disappointed if this fight goes the distance.
How do you feel about the way that Golden Boy Promotions is bringing you along, being on these major cards and, in particular, returning to the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas?
I think that Golden Boy and my management are doing a great job of bringing me along. What people fail to realize is that I've only been boxing all together, amateur and professionally, for four years.
January 18 will be three years for me as a professional, and I only had 10 amateur fights and I started boxing as a professional four months before my 25th birthday. So I'm still young on the scene.
So I think that they're doing a great job of bringing me along. I'm at that stage where I'm no longer fighting people who have 18 and 20 wins or a .500 record. I'm fighting people who have records like Taurus Sykes.
You know, 20-5, and, 18-4, things of that nature. So I think that my promotional company is doing a great job. I think that they're doing a good job of putting me on the big stage with some of my fights lately.
That's a learning stage. There's a big difference between fighting in Las Vegas and fighting here in Washington, D.C. You know, I'm starting to get used to it. The ring is starting to become my home.
So I think that they're doing a great job in moving me along, and I'm looking for a good showing and bigger and better things in 2011.
With Wladimir Klitschko defending his heavyweight belts against Dereck Chisora on the same night that you're fighting, are you looking over your shoulder at him just yet?
Not really, I'm not really looking at that fight. I've got something that I need to take care of so that I can get to that type of fight. My goal is to one day become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
So I've got to take care of business. You know, that title fight is 15, 18, 20 or 24 months down the line, so I'm not really looking at that fight.
After my fight, I might be looking at Wladimir's opponent as maybe a match up next year or in the next 15 months. But I'm focused on my fight on Dec. 11.
Are people starting to recognize you as a fighter in your travels, and, as such, potentially the next American heavyweight champion of the world?
I think that right now I'm just starting to get a little bit of recognition. You know, by me being on these big under cards that Golden Boy has been having, I'm starting to gain a little recognition.
I think I'm ranked No. 8 right now by the NABO, so I'm starting to creep a little above. But as far as the expectations, nobody has greater expectations than myself.
You know whatever good things they think about me, you know, I think those things 10-fold about myself. Those expectations don't bother me because I'm my biggest critic.
You know I have big dreams and I have great expectations and I'm working hard to achieve those.
So can you characterize and verbalize those big dreams and expectations and your path toward the heavyweight championship?
Well, when I first started boxing, you know, I looked the part. I have a great physique, I'm athletic and I played football. So when I got involved into boxing, it was like, 'Okay, I've got something to prove.'
It was like, 'Okay, this guy looks the part, but let's see if he can fight.' That first year, I believe that I proved that. My second year, my goal was to become a prospect. I believe that I did that in becoming a prospect.
Now, I'm in my third year, and this is my year to become a contender. And God-willing, in 2011, I will have the proper fights that will allow me to become a contender in everybody's eyes.
Hopefully, like from now and over the next 18-to-20 months, you know I'll get that call to go after the heavyweight championship of the world and to fight for that title. I hope that happens for me sometime in the next 24 months.