Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KO's) has burst onto the heavyweight scene in a big way. People are throwing his name around as a candidate to face one of the Klitschkos, and some even think that he's the next great American champion.
Unfortunately, I think they're dreaming.
Mitchell will fight Johnathon Banks Saturday night in a 12-round matchup that is being billed as a WBC semifinal title eliminator. Mitchell is a substantial favorite, and many are picking him to KO Banks.
However, I don't think that's going to happen. I think there is a good possibility Banks is going to expose Mitchell for what he really is: overhyped.
Mitchell is taking on a Tyson-esque persona as a devastating knockout artist. He has won by knockout in his last 10 fights. He has looked impressive, but against pathetic opponents. The biggest name he's faced is Timur Ibragimov, who hasn't been relevant in the last six years.
Seth Mitchell is new to boxing. He has only been fighting professionally for four years. He sorely lacks experience. He's athletic and powerful but he's a novice boxer. His stance is too wide and he throws telegraphed, looping punches. When he throws his punches straight, he's dangerous. When he doesn't, he leaves himself open.
I also question Mitchell's stamina. He's gone eight rounds in one fight. I'm not sure if he can handle a 12-round fight at this point in his young career. He looked gassed after three rounds with Chazz Witherspoon.
Johnathon Banks (28-1-1, 18 KO's) has been boxing for seven years. His record isn't flawless, but records don't win fights. Banks has faced decent competition like Tomasz Adamek and Jason Gavern, but he lost via TKO to Adamek and fought to a draw against Gavern.
So why do I think that Banks can pull off an upset victory against Mitchell?
Johnathon Banks has a huge edge in experience and he's a more skilled boxer than Seth Mitchell. Banks was trained by the late Emanuel Steward, and his skills are steadily improving. He's gone a full 12 rounds five times, and is 4-0-1 in those fights.
If Banks can effectively play the role of counterpuncher and push the fight into the later rounds, I think he has a good shot at beating Mitchell.
Seth Mitchell may win this fight, but it's only a matter of time before someone boxes circles around this brawler and hands him his first loss.
Banks just might be the one to do this. Don't be surprised if he beats Mitchell.