By Tom Dickey
Updated: October 29, 2004


Sharmba Mitchell will get a chance at redemption on November 6th when he steps in the ring to battle undisputed super lightweight champion Kostya Tszyu. The two first met on February 3, 2001, and the fight was stopped in the 7th round due to a knee injury to Mitchell. The fight was very close at the time of the stoppage, and Mitchell has now recuperated and is ready for a chance to avenge that loss in 2001.

Since then, Sharmba has compiled 8 wins in a row, including wins over Mike Stewart, Ben Tackie, Moises Pedroza, Vince Phillips, and the interim IBF belt against Lovemore N’dou. Mitchell was kind enough to talk to me after a workout in Van Nuys, California in preparation for his huge November 6th bout with Kostya Tszyu. Here’s what he had to say.

QUESTION: Kostya Tszyu said that you earned this rematch with your mouth and not your fists, that you talked your way into it. Was that your plan?

SHARMBA MITCHELL: No, my goal was to just keep fighting. If you’re a real man and a true champion, you would take unfinished business and try to finish it. I guess that’s what is finally happening.

QUESTION: Are you going to do anything differently for this fight than you did in your first encounter with Kostya Tszyu?

SHARMBA MITCHELL: Stay in the fight and win. (laughs) QUESTION: With all the big names at 140 pounds, like Floyd Mayweather, Kostya Tszyu, Arturo Gatti, and the young hot shots like Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton. Do you feel you get overlooked in this division?

SHARMBA MITCHELL: No, I own the division right now. It’s just me and Kostya Tszyu at the top right now. You got these guys coming up from the lightweight division, and trying to step up into the 140 pound division. My thing is that they are coming up to fight us 140 pounders.

QUESTION: How is your knee?

SHARMBA MITCHELL: My knee is fine right now. I can’t ask for anything more.

QUESTION: If you were to win this fight with Kostya Tszyu, would this be the high point of your career?

SHARMBA MITCHELL: It would be the high point, but there’s more that I want to do. There are other goals that I want to achieve, and other titles that I want to win to finish my career up.

QUESTION: Is there someone in the 140 pound division that catches your eye, and you say Man, I want to fight him?

SHARMBA MITCHELL: No, not really. I’ve beat everybody in the division. Let them have their days.

QUESTION: Who have you been sparring with in preparation for this fight?

SHARMBA MITCHELL: Shane Mosley and Steve Forbes. I was training in Vero Beach, (Florida) but the weather forced me out here in California.

QUESTION: I know it was hard for you getting a rematch with Kostya Tszyu, did you ever think that this rematch would actually happen?

SHARMBA MITCHELL: Well, after all the injuries and things like that I really wasn’t sure. But it’s happening and I thank God, and maybe God had a plan for us to come in and have both of us be healthy, and to do it right this time.

QUESTION: Do you have a prediction for the fight?