SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
Johathan Banks speaks of rematch with Seth Mitchell
During a recent media work out at the Bad Boy Gym in Detroit, MI, heavyweight contender Jonathan Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) said that his rematch with Seth Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs) will end the same way it did the first time.
Banks by knockout!!
The two will meet on Saturday, February 16, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ and will be televised on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
“I had a great night that night [November 17],” Banks told members of the media. “I had a lot of confidence and a special motivation.”
Banks was referring to the unfortunate passing of one of the greatest trainers in boxing history. Emmanuel Steward died in October 2012. Banks took over as lead trainer for world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, while also prepping for Mitchell. Banks guided Klitschko to a unanimous points win over Mariusz Wach in Germany before attending a special memorial for Steward in Detroit, followed by finishing his preparation for Mitchell. All of which occurred within weeks. Banks believed Steward was there in spirit on the night of November 17, when he surprisingly KO’d Mitchell at Boardwalk Hall.
“It was a great night and I do wish Emanuel [Steward] were there physically to see it happen,” Banks said. “He would have been so happy. I miss him everyday still but know he is happy for me and will continue to lend me his spirit when I am training or getting ready for a fight.”
Banks took advantage of Mitchell’s inexperience, poor stamina, and obviously weak chin. Mitchell, a former collegian football player is a huge 6’ 3,” 245-pounder. However, as many guys Mitchell hit during his career, it simply didn’t prepare him for the pounding administered by a smaller, lighter-hitting Banks.
Banks scored three highlight-reel knockdowns, leading to an intelligent stoppage by famed referee Eddie Cotton, famous for docking one-point from Lennox Lewis in his fight with Mike Tyson and disqualifying Andrew Golota in a rematch with Riddick Bowe.
“Seth Mitchell has contradicted himself,” Banks added. “Right after the fight he was very humble, gave me respect for the win and said he was going to have to go back to the drawing board, work his way back to the position he was in. Now I hear him saying things like ‘I didn’t win the fight or knock him out because I was the better man that night’ and that it was his mistakes that were the cause of the loss. I find that to be out of character for this guy who seemed to be humble and respectful of me as a fighter prior to the first fight. When I lost to Adamek as a cruiserweight, I lost.”
In February 2009, Banks was laid out on the floor by Tomasz Adamek, then the IBF cruiserweight champion. Afterwards, Banks left the 200-pound weight-class to campaign as a heavyweight. His work with Wladimir Klitschko, the unified IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO and Ring Magazine heavyweight champion, has intensified in recent years. Banks is now Klitschko’s lead trainer and is using his experience to become a more technically proficient fighter.
Banks is unbeaten in his last 10 fights.
“Like all of my camps, I’m working on my balance, my speed and on my defense, making sure the little things are taken care of. I like a quiet camp, even here in Detroit, no time for socializing with friends leading up to the fight. Just Sugar (Hill) and I like it always is. Wladimir calls all the time so we talk a great deal as we would at his camps.”
Banks sees Mitchell to be an improved fighter, but it probably won’t matter.
“I can see him coming for the knockout this time,” Banks added. “He says he is going to be different this time. I believe he will be. I’m preparing for the very best, focused Mitchell. I expect him to be much better this time and I’ll be ready.”
Regardless, Banks isn’t ready to give up his time at the top.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and it is a lonely man’s sport,” Banks said. “I’ve experienced the bottom, middle and top. I experienced hunger and what it really feels like to sacrifice to have your dreams come true.”
Banks vs. Mitchell 2 will be televised on HBO along with Adrian Broner’s WBC lightweight title defense against Gavin Rees. Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, are available for purchase at the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
DiBella, 50 Cent to co-promote ESPN Foxwoods card in March
There will be a special ESPN Friday Night Fights card on March 1, at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. Lou DiBella, the former Senior Vice-President of HBO Sports, and celebrity rap star 50 Cent of SMS Promotions recently announced their joint venture.
IBF Featherweight Champion Billy Dib (35-1, 21KO’s) defends against Cuban Olympian, and IBF #3 rated Luis Franco (11-1, 7KO’s) in the main event. In the co-featured attraction, junior middleweight Willie Nelson (19-1-1, 11KO’s) battles Michael Medina (26-3-2, 19KO’s) in a 10-round bout. The telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET.
“It’s my pleasure on behalf of DiBella Entertainment to announce that we’ll be co-promoting a show with 50 Cent, SMS Promotions to present a great night of ESPN Friday Night Fights on Friday, March 1 at the MGM Theater at Foxwoods,” DiBella stated. “And we’re really looking forward to what’s going to be a great event. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., the first fight will go on at 7, ESPN’s title cast will go live at 9 p.m.”
“This is exciting for me March 1, I get a chance to do it and in Connecticut it’s actually it’s still in my background like I feel like I’m at home out there,” said the famed rapper. “So you’ll get a chance to see me bring the festivities that come. Of course you’ll see some of my actual friends from the music culture, there’s pop and then just because the actual event is my very first event that I’m actually getting a chance to come from the actual ground up, co-promoting that. Of course the first one was December 8 with Manny Pacquiao and Gamboa the co-promotion with Top Rank.”
50 Cent added: “But this actual project is from the entire conception of the date going through the entire process. So I’m going to put my back into it. We’re definitely going to have a really good night in entertainment and have both Billy and Franco I believe are going to come on the actual A game. You know, so Billy’s been training longer than actual (usually) for this actually bout that he had – we had (unintelligible) involved and the actual process that delayed this actual match from actually happening.”
Tickets are priced affordably with the VIP ringside of $200 going down to a ringside of $100 and then there’s $75 tickets and $40 tickets. And tickets will go on sale next week at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Box Office.
Garcia Injured, Judah fight postponed
Unified WBC/WBA junior welterweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia suffered a rib injury in training camp. Therefore, his next scheduled title defense at the Barclay’s Center in downtown Brooklyn against Zab Judah has been postponed to April 27.
All tickets purchased for the February 9 event will be honored on April 27.
Also appearing on the show, newly crowned Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillen was ready to make his first defense against Fernando Guerrero.
Tickets for the April 27 fight, priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, are on sale now and are available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 800-745-3000.