Over the past couple of years, Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell has received an increased amount of public notoriety because if his tremendous success and his unorthodox introduction to the sport of boxing. As a pre-teen growing up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Mitchell often participated in sports with kids who were significantly older. When Mitchell was 12 years old, Jeanette Mitchell, Seth's mother decided to relocate her family to Brandywine, Maryland. Upon his arrival in Brandywine, Mitchell attended Gwynn Park High School where he was an outstanding athlete. He was particularly passionate about football and basketball. At 6 feet tall, he felt that as a basketball player he might be vertically challenged. As a result, he decided to focus on football. During his freshman season, Mitchell was the starting middle linebacker on the varsity football team. His overwhelming talent began to draw attention from college scouts all across America. As Mitchell progressed through his junior and senior seasons he had over 200 tackles, 24 sacks, six interceptions, and led his team in defensive statistics.
Mitchell chose to play his college football at Michigan State University, after having received multiple scholarship offers from various NCAA Division 1 football programs. Mitchell played middle linebacker as a sophomore and was second on his team with 103 tackles. Also that year, he led Michigan State in Big Ten Conference play with 10.6 tackles per game. Against Ohio State he had a career-high 17 tackles. His teammate, Jason Teague gave him the nickname "Mayhem" because of the way Mitchell complicated matters for the opposing quarterbacks, and wreaked havoc on Big Ten offenses. In 2005, he was forced to give up football due to various knee injuries. Mitchell went on to graduate from Michigan State with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and Security Management.
On June 10th, 2006, an epiphany occurred for Mitchell. He was at home watching a boxing match involving Tom Zbikowski, a former Notre Dame football player, and Robert Bell of Akron, Ohio. The fight took place at the world famous Madison Square Garden. It was Zbikowski's professional debut. Forty-nine seconds into the bout, Zbikowski was declared the winner via technical knockout. As the former Notre Dame football player stood over his fallen opponent, a light bulb shined in the mind of Mitchell. He thought to himself, if Tom Zbikowski can do this, maybe it's something worth exploring. After having just witnessed a former college football player have success in the ring, Mitchell was inspired to learn more about the sport of boxing. Prior to that night, he had never thought of a career in boxing, and had certainly never stepped into a boxing ring. After a few months of soul searching, Mitchell realized that given his strong set of athletic skills, tremendous focus, and sound work ethic, he could have real success as a boxer. In the latter part of 2006, Mitchell embarked upon a ten fight amateur career. As an amateur, he accumulated an impressive record of nine wins and one loss, with nine knockouts.
Mitchell launched his professional boxing career in 2008. Just two fights into his pro career, he signed with Golden Boy Promotions, one of the foremost boxing promotion companies in the world. Mitchell has progressed from 4-round fights, to 6-round fights, to 8-round fights, and his upcoming bout at the Washington Convention Center will be a 10-round contest. He is currently 23-0-1 with 17 knockouts. He is now ranked number 44 in the world amongst heavyweight boxers. His training regimen is rigorous, to say the least. He runs approximately 20 miles per week and his diet is superb. His training camp is based at the Dream Team Boxing Gym in Clinton, Maryland. Dream Team is the best choice for Mitchell because of its geographical proximity to his home, which allows him to stay close to his family while he trains.
As boxing returns to Washington on December 10, we are reminded of the professional boxing tradition that exists here. Great champions like "Sugar" Ray Leonard, Riddick "Big Daddy" Bowe, and Sharmba "Little Big Man" Mitchell, all lived and trained in the D.C. area during their pro careers. Although he was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Ray Leonard was raised in Palmer Park, Maryland. In 1976, he won an Olympic Gold Medal in the Light Welterweight Division. As a pro, he was a champion in five different weight classes, and is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. During the 1990's, Riddick Bowe lived and trained in Fort Washington, Maryland. In 1992, Bowe won the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Evander Holyfield. He had an outstanding career and posted a record of 43-1. Sharmba "Little Big Man" Mitchell, a native of Takoma Park, Maryland, and a District resident, became World Junior Welterweight Champion in October, 1998, with a 12-round decision over Khalid Rahilou. He posted a stellar career record of 57-6. December 10th will be an important night regarding the professional boxing landscape in Washington. If it goes as well as projected, this event could serve as a catalyst for many more great nights of boxing, right here in the nation's capital.
Seth Mitchell can be followed on facebook or twitter at #sethmayhem48