Former two-time super middleweight champion Byron “Gator” Mitchell (28-5-1, 21 KOs) says he’s feeling “super” in final preparations for his showdown with Otis “Triple OG” Griffin. Mitchell and Griffin will square off in the main event of X-Cel Worldwide in association with Bang Productions’ “Hassle at the Castle” boxing benefit gala at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York on May 7..
Coming off a TKO 2 over former contender David Telesco last October 21, the hard-punching Mitchell is hoping a victory over Griffin will bring him closer to his dream of another world title fight. The 36-year-old Alabama native has won three of four since coming out of semi-retirement and signing a promotional deal with promoter Nick Garone’s X-Cel Worldwide in late 2008.
Mitchell’s only loss was a short-notice stoppage to current WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Beibut Shumenov.
Byron, what do you think of your upcoming opponent, Otis Griffin?
He comes to fight, but I don’t think he takes shots very well and I’m a pretty heavy hitter. He will get caught. He can’t afford to make any mistakes at all and coming into the fight, I have an advantage on him. When he found out about the fight, I had already been in camp five weeks with (top super middleweight contender) Andre Dirrell for his fight with Arthur Abraham.
So being around a young, quick fighter has benefitted you?
I have never been in the ring with anybody as quick as Andre Dirrell. He is super quick. I told him he is going to lead me to another world championship. Being in with a guy as young and quick as he is, very few light heavyweights are as agile as he is and as fast as he is. If I can cope with him, I pretty much I can cope with anyone in the division.
If you are able to get past Otis Griffin, what do you think your next move will be?
I want to fight for a world title. Maybe I’ll get that chance before the year is out. I’d love a rematch with Shumenov, who I wasn’t in the gym for but sill went four rounds with — and that was coming straight from the airport to the gym to the fight. I told them I was overweight and they told me it was no big deal and then they made me lose the weight the day of the fight. But I couldn’t pass that fight up. You can’t make that kind of money here in the US. When they told me how much the purse was, I was like ‘Oh my God.’ That was a business decision more than a career choice.
Are you feeling well adjusted to your move up in weight class from super middleweight to light heavyweight?
Light heavyweight is not a step up in weight for me because I fought my whole amateur career at this weight. Light heavyweight is more my natural weight. In the ’96 Olympics, Antonio Tarver had already won the light heavyweight berth on the Olympic team, so I dropped down to attempt to make it as a middleweight. When I decided to turn pro, I only went up to super middle because I was already a middleweight.
You’ve had inactivity due to promotional problems in the past. How has it been working with Nick Garone?
Nick has been wonderful throughout our time together. This guy has more resources than I imagined in the beginning. Working with him has been so much fun. He takes into consideration my family and the things I want to accomplish. To have someone in your corner that actually cares about you is a real pleasure.
Hassle at the Castle – May 7,
Oheka Castle, Huntington, New York
“Hassle at the Castle” is a benefit gala honoring the Shea Megale Trust for SMA and the Elena Melius Foundation.
In the main supporting bout, former #1 heavyweight contender “Big” Michael Grant will make his return to the ring. The towering 6′ 7″ Grant (45-3, 33 KOs) is undefeated since 2003 and was last seen scoring a unanimous 12-round decision over the respectable Paul Marinaccio at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.
Also scheduled for action are Maryland-based welterweight Emmanuel “Tranzformer” Taylor (6-0, 5 KOs), and Patterson, New Jersey’s Elvin “KoKo” Sanchez (3-0, 3 KOs) and two more fights that are currently TBA.
The all-star celebrity guest list reads like a Hall of Fame induction ceremony directory and includes 1984 Olympic Boxing Team members: Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, Pernell “Sweat Pea” Whitaker, Tyrell Biggs, and Mark Breland, plus Lou Duva, “Gentleman” Gerry Cooney, Burt Sugar, Emile Griffith, “Vicious” Vivian Harris and a Mystery Hall of Famer.
Between bouts, high-fashion models will showcase Carla’s Closet Swimsuits, as seen in 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. A tribute will be held in honor of Lou Duva’s 88th birthday.
Oheka Castle is the second largest residence in the United States and is an architectural wonder to behold in itself.
On fight night, doors will open at 6:30 pm. A VIP Meet & Greet will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 and the first bout starts at 7:45.
Tickets are priced at General $350 and VIP $500 and are available at www.ringsidenow.com.
Open Bar and Hors D’oeuvres are included with VIP ticket purchase.
Oheka Castle is located at 135 West Gate Drive in Huntington, New York. For more information, visit www.championsofboxing.com.
TKO BOXING PROSPECTS LIGHT UP IOWA CITY ON SATURDAY NIGHT!! TERENCE CRAWFORD, J’LEON LOVE AND MICHAEL FINNEY TO SEE ACTION
LAS VEGAS, NV (April 28, 2010) This Saturday night, May 1st in Iowa City, TKO Boxing Promotions’ Terence Crawford, J’Leon Love and Michael Finney will battle at MAY MAYHEM, an action packed professional boxing event set for the Johnson County 4-H Fairgrounds.
The 22 year old Crawford, sporting an undefeated record of 10-0-0 with seven knockouts, will battle veteran lightweight Marty Robbins, 23-45-1 (15KO’s), in a scheduled six rounder.
After an outstanding amateur career, Crawford has used his fast hands and excellent boxing skills to impress fight fans across the country since turning professional two years ago. Saturday night’s start will be the first of 2010 for Crawford who knocked out Corey Sommerville in the second round on December 19, 2009 in his last bout.
Detroit’s J’Leon Love, 3-0-0 (3KO’s), has quickly made a name as a newcomer to watch in the super middleweight division. Ending each of his first three bouts with brutal early knockouts, the 22 year old Love has displayed cannon like power in both hands.
In Iowa City, Love will face Ottumwa, Iowa’s Jeremy Marts, 5-9-0 (3KO’s), in a bout scheduled for four rounds. On March 25th, Love added to his perfect knockout run, stopping Bryan Smith in the second round at the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles .
Turning pro at the age of 18, welterweight Michael Finney, 2-0-0 (2KO’s) has displayed outstanding boxing skills and knockout power, stopping each of his first two opponents in the first round with crunching body shots. On April 2nd, the Smiths Station, Alabama native stopped Jordan Washington at the RIO Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada .
Saturday night, Finney will face off against St. Joseph, Missouri’s Bobby Larson, 0-2, in a four round bout.
Presented by WIN BY KO Promotions, advance tickets for MAY MAYHEM, starting at $25 can be purchased by calling 319-338-1633. Doors open on the evening of the event at 6pm. The Johnson County 4-H Fairgrounds is located at 4261 Oak Crest Hill Road SE , C Building in Iowa City.
MAJEWSKI-MYERS BOUT ADDED TO KENNEDY-BERANZA CARD MAY 22 AT BALLY’S ATLANTIC CITY
Atlantic City, NJ—Unbeaten middleweight Patrick Majewski, of Somers Point, NJ, and Loren Myers, of Fresno, CA, will meet in a scheduled eight-round contest Saturday evening, May 22, in the Grand Ballroom of Bally’s Atlantic City. First fight 7.30 p.m.
Topping the seven-bout card is a scheduled 12-round fight between Teon Kennedy, of Philadelphia, PA, and Jose Angel Beranza, of Santa Ana, CA, for Kennedy’s United States Boxing Association (USBA) super bantamweight title.
The card will be televised live by www.gofightlive.tv.
Majewski, 30, is originally from Radom, Poland. He has a 12-0 record with seven knockouts. In his last fight Feb. 8 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, Majewski earned a six-round decision over Tony Pietrantonio, of Youngstown, OH.
This will mark Majewski’s third fight at Bally’s where he previously defeated Latif Mundy, of Philadelphia, PA, and Ariel Espinal, of Brooklyn, NY.
Myers, 28, comes to Atlantic City fresh off his career-best showing, an eight-round draw in last Dec. 4 in Philadelphia over heavily favored Gee Edward Cullmer, who had a 16-1 record going in. The Blue Horizon crowd agreed with judge Lynne Carter, who had it 79-73 for Myers. Somehow, the other two judges each had it 76-76.
Prior to the Cullmer fight, Myers had dropped three in a row to Matt Korobov, Derek Hinkey and Dion Savage, who were a combined 17-1 at fight time.
A pro since 2005, Myers has a 7-7-1 record with two knockouts.
An intriguing six-round junior lightweight contest features Carlos Vinan, of Newark, NJ, against Anthony Flores, of Philadelphia, PA.
Vinan is 9-8-3, 1 K0, but has not had an easy road. In his last fight Feb. 26 at The Arena (formerly New Alhambra) in Philadelphia, Vinan earned a six-round decision over crowd-pleasing Victor Vasquez.
Three years earlier in the same ring, Vinan scored one of his biggest wins when he got off the floor to hand Eric “Outlaw” Hunter, of Philadelphia, PA, his only defeat in 13 fights.
Incredibly, the combined record of Vinan’s last 13 opponents was 102-9-9 when he fought them. He was 4-6-3 against that lineup, obviously hurt by his lack of power.
Flores, 22, is 8-1, 5 K0s, but has not boxed since Sept. 19 when he lost his first fight, a six-round decision to Victor Valenzuela, of Passaic, NJ, at Bally’s. Flores suffered a broken cheekbone in that fight and has been idle since.
A pro since 2008, Flores has beaten Francisco Palacios and Ikem Orji.
Unbeaten junior welterweight Ronald Cruz, of Allentown, PA, takes on Juan Ramon Cruz, of Hartford, CT, in another scheduled six-round contest. Ronald is 8-0, 5 K0s; Juan Ramon is 16-8-1, 12 K0s.
In four-rounders: Ryan Carson, Norristown, PA, vs. Marcos Garcia, Camden, NJ, lightweights; Troy Maxwell, Galloway Township, NJ, vs. Rafael Jastrzebski, Atlantic City, NJ, cruiserweights; Josh Mercado, Mays Landing, NJ, vs. Joel Nieves, Allentown, PA, welterweights.
Tickets for May 22 are priced at $75 and $50. They are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., (215-765-0922) and all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000). They also can be purchased online at www.peltzboxing.com and www.ticketmaster.com.