After losing two months ago for the first time in his career, Seth Mitchell is set for a rematch against Johnathon Banks on Feb. 16 in Atlantic City, a fight that’s a virtual must-win for the Brandywine heavyweight if he is to continue his pursuit of the unified heavyweight championship of the world.
Banks-Mitchell II will take place at Boardwalk Hall, the site of their last bout Nov. 17 in which Banks knocked down his heavily favored opponent three times. Referee Eddie Cotton stopped the fight at 2 minutes 37 seconds of the second round after Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 knockouts) hit the canvas for a third time.
Banks had connected authoritatively on his 25th of 42 power shots. Mitchell, meantime, landed 11 of 43 power punches in what was supposed to be the next step toward perhaps fighting Wladimir Klitschko for the world heavyweight title.
“Thanks to Johnathon, I didn’t enjoy my Thanksgiving,” Mitchell said in a conference call Thursday to announce the fight, a co-main event to World Boxing Council lightweight champion Adrien Broner’s match against Gavin Rees. “Even though I was watching my wife, she was cooking dinner and everything, and the kids were running around, all the blessing that I have around me, but I still had that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach.”
Following the bout, Mitchell used a rematch clause to ensure he would have a second fight against Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs), whose deft counter-punching caught Mitchell in some careless moments.
The North American Boxing Association and WBC Intercontinental champion landed his first jarring blow by avoiding a right cross, then sent his left hand to Mitchell’s chin to wobble the one-time All-Met football player from Gwynn Park High and set up his next series of barrages.
Mitchell, 30, entered his last fight coming off the longest layoff of his professional career. His previous fight before losing to Banks was April 28 against Chazz Witherspoon, and Mitchell nearly went down in the first round. But Mitchell recovered in the second before referee Randy Neumann stopped the fight at 2:31 of the third round.
It was the 10th consecutive knockout for Mitchell.
Mitchell initially was scheduled to fight Banks in Las Vegas on July 14 but withdrew after a visit to an orthopedist revealed a sprained ligament in his right hand. The injury occurred, Mitchell said, during the third round of his fight against Witherspoon.
Mitchell then was supposed to fight Banks as part of the undercard for Broner’s main event Oct. 6, but an issue regarding then-lightweight title contender forced that card to be postponed.
“I want to get this nasty taste out of my mouth,” Mitchell said. “I want to win the fight. This is what I do to support my family as of right now. I have to continue to win, so I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s redemption. Johnathon came out, and he did what he’s supposed to do, and that’s what I plan on doing this time.”