Mayweather To Return On Nov. 19 Against Ex-Champ Mitchell

By Francis Walker
Updated: October 24, 2005

Floyd MayweatherNEW YORK — Floyd Mayweather returns on Nov. 19 when he challenges former WBA 140-pound champion Sharmba Mitchell to a 12-round welterweight contest at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. Mayweather last fought in June when he pummeled Arturo Gatti in six rounds for the WBC junior welterweight title.

Mayweather (34-0, 23 KOs) is 28, undefeated, and is considered to be the best boxer in the world. His career has spanned a decade and he appears to have shown no signs of slowing down, or even losing a single fight.

Mayweather achieved top-fighter status based on his consistency of impressive performances, hand speed, improved power, and constant aggressiveness. Also losses by Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, and Kostya Tszyu have allowed Mayweather to further establish himself as the very best.

Having won a bronze medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and WBC world championships at 130, 135, and 140 pounds, Mayweather seeks his fourth division title in as many weight classes. A fight against Mitchell is a positive step toward Mayweather’s goal.

Mitchell (56-4, 30 KOs) is 35 and is a former WBA junior welterweight champion. He won the title in Oct. 1998 and retained it for nearly 2 ½ years before losing it to Tszyu (TKO 7) in a unification match. Mitchell suffered a knee injury and could not continue.

Mitchell did not receive another world title fight until Nov. 2004 when Tszyu, then the IBF 140-pound champion, demolished him in three rounds. Mitchell was knocked down four times.

Mitchell is recognized for his southpaw style. He has quick hands and moves well on his feet. Mitchell is not known for his power. He only has 30 KOs in 60 professional fights. At this advanced stage of his career, Mitchell is not as fast as he was five years ago. Mayweather should have very little problems, although Mitchell will be his first opponent in a higher weight division.

Mayweather is Superior

A common theme throughout Mayweather’s career has always been his dominance and superiority over his opponents. Mayweather has become increasingly recognizable as a boxing draw because of recent losses to De La Hoya, Jones, Tszyu, Shame Mosley, and Bernard Hopkins within the last 1 ½ years.

Also, the retirement of Lennox Lewis, the faded career of Mike Tyson, and the medical suspension of Evander Holyfield has allowed the sport to focus on its present and future, instead of the many talent fighters that have become legends based on what they’ve done in the late 80’s, early 90’s, and not on what they’ve done in the new millennium.

While more popular boxers have struggled to ignore the signs of retirement, Mayweather has soared defeating Jose Luis Castillio (twice) Jesus Chavez, Diego Corrales, Angel Manfredy, and Genaro Hernandez all were among the best fighters between 130-140 pounds.

Mayweather vs. Judah, A Must See That Must Wait

As a welterweight, Mayweather will continue to have opportunities to challenge the very best in boxing. The fight that would really generate a lot of attention as a box-office draw would be Mayweather vs. Zab Judah, the undisputed world welterweight champion.

Mayweather and Judah are mirror images of each other. Both fighters have blinding hand speed, move well around the ring, and can be very relentless at will. The difference between both fighters is that Judah is a southpaw, Mayweather isn’t.

Judah (34-2, 27 KOs) has only two losses. He suffered a shocking second-round KO loss to Tszyu for the world junior welterweight championship in Nov. 2001. Judah also lost a 12-round decision to Cory Spinks for the world welterweight championship in April 2004.

Judah avenged his loss to Spinks in Feb. 2005 by taking his undisputed titles with an emphatic ninth-round TKO in Spinks’ hometown of St. Louis, MO. Judah has fought twice this year and there is talk of a long-awaited Judah vs. Shane Mosley, famous for twice defeating Oscar De La Hoya, who is now is promoter/business –partner at Golden Boy Promotions.