Mitchell Turns the Tables on Witherspoon

By David Matthew on April 29, 2012
Mitchell Turns the Tables on Witherspoon
Seth Mitchell’s ascent to the top of the division continues (Ed Mulholland/US Presswire)

This was a man’s fight; an American Heavyweight bout which featured two giants who weren’t afraid to let their hands go…

The question on my mind prior to this fight was, “How would Seth Mitchell respond to getting hit flush by a legitimate heavyweight?”  That question was answered in emphatic fashion Saturday night as Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs) and Chazz Witherspoon (30-3, 22 KOs) wasted little time before an all out firefight broke out at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

In the opening round, Witherspoon was boxing, throwing his jab and moving away rather deftly for a heavyweight. Mitchell was coming forward with his own jab, landing some decent body shots as he lunged in looking for exchanges. Then, with about a minute to go in the round, Witherspoon landed a hammering right hook that Mitchell never saw coming. Momentarily wobbled, Mitchell decided to fight his way out of trouble and ate a few more flush right hands as he courageously battled punch-for-punch with Witherspoon while being clearly buzzed.

While Mitchell was being buzzed, the question buzzing around ringside was whether Mitchell would be able to recuperate. Not only did he recuperate. He did more than that. In round 2, Mitchell regained his footing and resumed his stalking style, ripping Witherspoon with right hands and effective bodywork.  Then an absolute war broke out as both fighters began throwing punches with bad intentions, seriously intent on knocking the other guy out. Mitchell rallied back to land blistering power shots in what was a commandingly lopsided round in Mitchell’s favor as he landed 30 of 81 punches.

In round 3, Mayhem struck early as Mitchell ducked a Witherspoon right hand and rose up with a picture-perfect sweeping left hook that landed right on Witherspoon’s chin, sending him to the canvas. Sensing the moment, Mitchell proceeded to unleash bombs with Witherspoon on the ropes. Witherspoon momentarily weathered the storm, but not for long. As the round was winding down, Witherspoon went into a defensive posture, doing all he possibly could to keep Mitchell off him, But then Mitchell landed a thundering straight right hand that really hurt Witherspoon, with only the ropes keeping him up. That singular shot prompted referee Randy Neumann to lunge in, but not before one last precision straight right ripped Witherspoon. As Neumann began the count, he took one look in Witherspoon’s eyes, didn’t like what he saw, and wasted no time in stopping the fight.

This was a man’s fight; an American Heavyweight bout which featured two giants who weren’t afraid to let their hands go. Both warriors were throwing punches with serious power, and fans were treated to an absolute slugfest that reminded us why the heavyweight division can be so exciting. For Mitchell, he answered a tough question in courageous fashion. We saw him dazed from a flush power shot, he survived, and rallied back with resounding redemption to physically dominate Witherspoon with a deadly medley of sweeping left hooks, impactful bodywork, and precision straight right hands that ended the fight before we even saw a round 4.

Before the fight, Mitchell had a distinctive gleam in his eye and seemed to be absolutely at home in this big moment. After the fight, after all the fireworks that had ensued, he was emotional as he was freshly minted with the vacant NABO heavyweight title that will give him some real positioning power in the future. “I’m just thankful of how good God has been to me,” Mitchell said. “I knew Chazz would come out and fight, and he got me dazed in the first round, but I was able to weather the storm and get the job done.” Indeed, in dynamic fashion at that.

As the question remains as to whether Mitchell can be competitive against a Klitschko, the question as to whether Mitchell has the goods and heart to be a viable challenge has been answered. Mitchell has the power, size and, most importantly, the courage and willingness to do what it takes to win by taking the necessary risks to compete in the super-sized heavyweight division. The long wait for a legitimate American heavyweight contender that is both exciting and capable is over. His name is Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell—and his ascent to the top of the division continues.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Seth Mitchell vs Chazz Witherspoon

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles


This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. the thresher 10:21am, 05/01/2012

    Del Boy has fought much better competition than Seth and is far more schooled with better technique. At this point in their respective careers, it would be a bad fight for Seth. Matt Skelton makes more sense but not much money in that. Michael Grant seems a good bet.

  2. Don from Prov 08:08am, 05/01/2012

    I have always thought that Vitali was an arm puncher, but his size and strength means that those arm punches, in accumulation, wear a man down.  I think that Mitchell appears to be a more powerful puncher than Vitali—

    But that doesn’t mean he has the defense to avoid Vitali’s shots right now; nor does it mean that he has the footwork to get into effective punching range of Vitali.  The young man needs some work and time, but he is fun to watch and could turn into a handful for any heavyweight out there.

  3. David Matthew 09:11am, 04/30/2012

    I have to disagree.  Vitali has really lost significant zip on his punches.  He’s primarily an arm-puncher now and gets no core/lower-body into his shots.  Dare I say that Vitali is very beatable right now.  If we’re talking about Wlad, I agree.  If Wlad hits anyone clean w/ that right hand, it’s likely over.  Vitali is very crafty and can beat you with flurrying activity and elusiveness, but I don’t really think he can knock out heavyweights anymore.  (note the only recent stoppage he’s had was against Adamek, a cruiserweight)

  4. the thresher 09:04am, 04/30/2012

    If Klit could not stop Del Boy, Seth sure as hell couldn’t.

  5. David Matthew 08:58am, 04/30/2012

    I don’t think Del boy has the size or power to keep Seth off of him.  While Seth is about 6’2 in height - his build is more similar to Tyson, and he is able to duck under punches and lunge up with great torsion/leverage, swinging hooks that can end the fight instantly.  What Del Boy does have is craft.  He definitely can box, but I think he would have to make Seth respect his power, lest he be walked down and out-gunned.

  6. Pete The Sneak 04:53am, 04/30/2012

    Heck, best Heavyweight scrap I’ve seen in a while. Seth showed some serious Cojones coming back the way he did. He displayed a pretty good jab at times and was cognizant enough to deliver some pretty good body shots as well…Gotta give props to Chazz too, he didn’t come to play and went right after Mitchell. Yeah, I’d definitely keep Seth away from the Klits right about now, but there are some pretty good matchups out there for him that can certainly make for some more exciting heavyweight fights, which is what that division is sorely lacking. Showed some pretty good interview skills too, by ‘respectfully’ checking Max Kellerman on his comment that he was dropped in the first round. Peace.

  7. Cheekay Atomic 08:49pm, 04/29/2012

    Very good summary. Thank you for this.

    Agree with most of the comments.  Seth’s composure was quite impressive. 

    A friend of mine called it: as entertaining a 3-round fight as we’ve seen in some time.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 05:06pm, 04/29/2012

    Welliver would fight him in a heart beat….and guaranteed he’d give Seth some rounds.

  9. the thresher 04:48pm, 04/29/2012

    Maybe Matt Skelton.

  10. the thresher 04:47pm, 04/29/2012

    Rax, at this point I think Del Boy would be too much for him. Chisora can fight—even though he is stark raving mad, he CAN fight.

  11. raxman 04:39pm, 04/29/2012

    ted - yeah! how good would mayhem vs del boy be?

  12. the thresher 04:37pm, 04/29/2012

    The other thing is that they should wait until Vitali retires and maybe Wlad gets a bit too old before matching him up wth guys that tall. Wlad would wax him at this point. IMO.

    There are plenty of good Brit heavies he could fight.

  13. the thresher 04:34pm, 04/29/2012

    Seth follows in a long line of great fighters from Michigan State University. It started with Chuck Davey in the late 40s.

    I have been following him from his early fights and always sensed he had something different. I never realied that he had the heart of a lion. Wow! I like what I see. Action action action.

    How about Seth vs. Arreola? You want a firefight? That’s a firefight?

  14. raxman 03:46pm, 04/29/2012

    i just hope that his people don’t do an arreola et al and match him with guys he can beat until he has to jump a half dozen levels of quality and fight a klit.
    so far i like what they have done. but who do you think is left. i think he could re-birth the heavyweight scene by fighting some more americans - is he ready for kevin johnson? he should look to fight some taller guys to like grant or thompson. i think he needs to get thru those guys before taking on arreloa or someone with the experience of adamek. i still see him as being 5-6 quality! fights away from vlad or vitali. but joe paul is right he is fun to watch. and he is obviously in great shape to recovery the way he did - and even to keep his head because his eyes were gone at the end of the first - he lacked the experience to tie chazz up or to move his head but you could see he was trying to do both

  15. Joe Paul 10:10am, 04/29/2012

    He has awesome power, but I worry about two things: 1. His defense is horrible 2. He’s not super tall, and the Klitschkos will grab him when he tries to go in for a punch. Either way, he’s incredibly fun to watch.

  16. David Matthew 09:37am, 04/29/2012

    As was I Mike.  He was definitely buzzed in that first round but you wouldn’t have known it if you just picked it up in the 2nd.  Interesting that Hunter (Chazz’s trainer) said ‘it’s going to take him a while to recover”—- shockingly, it took him about 20 seconds lol

  17. mikecasey 08:37am, 04/29/2012

    I was certainly impressed by Seth’s composure after knocking Chazz down. No rushing in recklessly or admiring his handiwork. He bided his time and finished it well. This fight should serve as a good education for him.

Leave a comment