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Banks vs. Mitchell II Conference Transcript

Johnathon Banks


Kelly Swanson

Thanks, everybody, for joining in.  I’m so excited about this particular show in general, Saturday, June 22nd at the Barclays Center featuring as its main event, Paulie Malignaggi against Adrien Broner, but I’m really excited about this fight we’re going to talk about on this call today. 


Joining us with have Johnathon Banks, the NABO and WBC International Heavyweight Champ as well as Seth Mitchell.  We are also joined by Dave Itskowitch and Tom Loeffler who’s the managing director of K2 Promotions, and everybody knows Dave, Chief Operating Officer of Golden Boy, and we will be hearing from both fighters who are on the line at the same time.  So, without further ado, I’m going to turn it over to Dave to make the introductions.  So, Dave, go ahead.

 

David Itskowitch

Thank you everyone for being with us this afternoon.  June 22nd Barclays Center in Brooklyn, we’ve got a great show, our main event Paulie Malignaggi versus Adrien Broner in a 12-round fight for the WBA Welterweight World Championship.  Of course, we have Johnathon Banks versus Seth Mitchell for in a 12-round fight for Banks’ NABO and WBC International Heavyweight Championship.  This is actually going to be the first heavyweight fight in the history of Barclays Center by my calculations, so that’s a little added piece of history for the show, and then, opening the Showtime broadcast will be Sakio Bika versus Marco Antonio Periban in a 12-round fight for the WBC Super Middleweight World Championship. 

 

The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions.  Banks versus Mitchell is presented in association with K2 Promotions.  We’re sponsored by Corona and AT&T.  We’ll be live on Showtime Championship Boxing at 9:00 Eastern Time with preliminary fights airing on Showtime Extreme at 7:00 Eastern Time, and the event can be heard in Spanish using second audio programming. 

 

Those of you who are in the New York area, no excuse not to be there.  We have great seats still available, but they’re going fast and very reasonably priced starting at $25 and ringside $250, which is again, in this day and age, two world title fights and a great heavyweight fight, you really can’t go wrong.  Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at the American Express Box Office at the Barclays Center. 

 

Now to say a few words, I’d like to introduce a young man who’s a former standout Michigan State University linebacker who found his true calling in the boxing ring.  In the first four years of his career, he tore through all of his opposition, beating Taurus Sykes, Timur Ibragimov and Chazz Witherspoon, all those by knockout.  He’s extremely eager for the opportunity to avenge his only pro loss when he faces Banks and he’ll look to show the resilience of a champion when he attempts to even the score on June 22nd.  He has a record of 25, 1 and 1 with 19 KOs.  From Brandywine, Maryland, Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell.  Seth?

 

Seth Mitchell 

First and foremost, I want to thank my team for giving me this opportunity.  I want to thank Al, Sharif Salim, Lorin Chvotkin, and everybody that’s involved on my team. Thanks Johnathon Banks for giving me this opportunity to avenge this loss. 

 

I’m very excited about this fight.  As Dave said, this is my first pro loss and it was a hard loss.  It took me about a week to get over the loss, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. 

 

Everybody that knows me, they know that I went back to the drawing board.  I’m preparing diligently.  I’m very focused for this fight.  I know Johnathon Banks is preparing hard as well.  It’s going to be a great fight. 

 

Again, I don’t do a lot of talking.  I just go back to the drawing board and work hard.  I’m very confident in my abilities.  I’m very confident in what I can do, and there’s no doubt in my mind that I’m going to come out victorious this time. 

 

I’ve watched the fight numerous times.  I saw a lot of mistakes that I made.  I’m not taking anything away from Johnathon.  He did what he was supposed to do that night, but I promise you it’s going to be a different outcome from June 22nd.  I just want everybody to tune in because I will be ready. 

 

I was ready to fight on February 16th and I was really disappointed when the fight got cancelled, but again, I go back to my belief that everything happens for a reason and that just allowed me to hone my skills to get better and to be more prepared for this fight.  I’m definitely a better fighter.  I’m not going to keep saying that.  I just have to go out there and show you what I’ve learned from that fight, what Johnathon Banks has taught me from that fight, and you will see that on the 22nd.  I’m very prepared for this fight and very focused and just excited that I’m back on this big stage and on Showtime. 

 

It’s not too often you get, not only do you lose, but you get stopped in the second round and have the opportunity to come back and fight on a major network, and I’m very fortunate and very blessed for that, and I’m definitely going to take advantage of this opportunity.  Again, I want everybody to tune in.  I want to thank everybody that’s a part of this, and making this happen.  I want to thank my family, my friends, everybody that’s praying for me.   Continue to pray for me, and on the 22nd, I will be victorious.  Thanks. 

 

Itskowitch

Before I introduce Tom, I just wanted to mention one thing.  These two fighters are, in case you didn’t notice in listening to Seth, are kind of a stark contrast from Paulie and Adrien in terms of the way that they conduct themselves, and I was around them when they first fought.  I just couldn’t believe how they’re just such gentlemen and really, really two nice, good guys, respectful athletes, and that’s always a breath of fresh air. 

 

So, now to introduce Johnathon Banks, I would like to turn it over to the managing director of K2 Promotions, Mr. Tom Loeffler.

 

Tom Loeffler  

We’re really excited to be a part of this promotion.  As was already mentioned, it’s a great main event, but you couldn’t get a better co-feature fight to complement that type of a main event, and you got two tremendous heavyweights in there before the first fight.  Seth was clearly considered the best American heavyweight leading up to-there was a lot of talk of him fighting the Klitschkos down the road, and with everything that Johnathon went through at that point, training Vladimir with the death of Emanuel Steward, everything like that and then just being able to be victorious in that fight, I think he proved there’s a lot more to Johnathon Banks than people had known previously.  So, we’re looking forward to his fight again just to prove that the first fight wasn’t a fluke.  Johnathon, I know has been training really hard for this fight as well. 

 

So, with that, I want to introduce him.  He’s in Detroit, Michigan right now, the WBC International and NABO Champion, Johnathon Banks.

 

Johnathon Banks       

There’s not much to say.  Seth said it all.  I’m not a talker.  He’s not a big talker.  There’s not much to say. 

 

I’m looking forward to the fight.  I wish that I wouldn’t have broken my thumb preparing for February 16th because I was also looking forward to that fight, but things happen.  This is out of your control.  It was out of my control.  That’s the first broken bone I ever had, never had nothing broken on me before, but I ended up breaking my thumb.  So, the fight was postponed, but now we have a new day, June 22nd. 

 

I am preparing just like I always have been.  Looking forward to the fight.  I just always believed that Seth Mitchell was one of the best heavyweights out there and I still think so.  So, I would never underestimate a guy like that.  I look forward to the fight. 

 

I know it will be a big challenge, but challenges are all a part of life and I accept every challenge that ever comes my way.  I’m not walking away from a challenge.  I accept it.  I accept it as it comes, and I really believe that the heavyweight division is going to be-it’s going to be filled up with excitement again because this heavyweight fight is going to be a good fight. 

 

Loeffler          

Thanks a lot, Jonathon.  I guess we can now turn it over to media for questions. 

 

Q        

Seth, I know one of the things in watching your tape and in talking to you, I’m sure you looked at the things you got away from in the biggest fight of your career, and my question is how do you practice patience?  How do you practice executing and also being loose at the same time without being robotic?

 

Mitchell         

You have to-I’ve been working on just being relaxed and it not being anxious.  Even though when I fought him the first time I didn’t feel anxious, I didn’t feel nervous, when I went back and watched the tape, I could see that I was tight and that I was tense.  So, it’s just repetition, repetition in the ring, and repetition in sparring.  I know sparring isn’t fighting, and I wouldn’t ever say that sparring is fighting, but it’s just the more repetitious you get and making a conscious effort of just trying to do the right thing and not being over anxious and just take your time, so that’s just what we’ve been working on. 

 

Q        

Obviously, instruction and executing your trainer’s instructions under fire, is that something you guys are doing?  I don’t know if you just recreate the situation that got away from you in this fight, or how is that going, the communication thing?

 

Mitchell         

The communication is going well, and I always consider myself a good listener.  I don’t think I know it all.  I just didn’t do what my trainer instructed me to do going into the fight.  We knew a lot of things that Johnathon does, things that we couldn’t do and I went out there and did those things, not saying that I was being hardheaded or anything, but I don’t know, maybe it was experience, but I definitely showed that I’ve learned from it, and like I said before, I definitely feel that that loss made me a better fighter, and I just can’t wait to show it. 

 

Q        

So, I guess the same question-being a boxer and a trainer, can you imagine how difficult must it be for Seth to do what he’s doing, and as a fighter who’s going to be in the ring with him, is that something you’re going to try to exploit that maybe that potential that he might be questioning himself after the loss?

 

Banks 

Well, I don’t believe and no interview anywhere have I ever heard Seth question himself.  Seth Mitchell, he admitted that he could listen.  I made a mistake.  ’I’ve done a couple things wrong and other Banks have capitalized on it.’  That’s all he ever said.  He never really questioned himself, so therefore, I’m still seeing the strong confident heavyweight that I saw the first time.  He’s just he’s coming back stronger, and he may be a little bit bigger because he’s eager to prove himself to the world again, and I just think that’s what’s going to make this fight a good fight, two fighters trying to prove theirselves to the world that they are number one or a good fighter or different things like that. 

 

So, I just don’t believe that he has any doubt in himself or in his abilities.  All his comments, all of his concerns has been just correcting the little mistakes that he made.  That’s all his concerns has been.  So, okay, I just don’t see him having no lack of confidence in his self.  I think he’s fully confident in his ability and I just think he’s coming out stronger, bigger and ready to take the world by storm again. 

 

Q        

Last question for you-getting into the head of another fighter as a trainer, what must he be going through, and as a trainer, what is the key to getting a fighter to execute in the heat of battle?

 

Banks 

Well, I don’t think Seth Mitchell has a problem executing in the heat of battle because he’s been in the heat of battle before so he hasn’t had too many problems executing in the heat of battle.  No matter who you are as a fighter, you get away from certain things that work, no matter who you are, and if you have a chance to correct it, then that’s all the better.  So, I don’t think he’s going to have a problem executing whatever he has, but as a fighter, my particular job is to stop him from executing what he wants to do and his job is to stop me from executing what I want to do.  So, that’s the reason we coming together to for one to stop the other and the other to try to stop the one.  So, that signals what it’s all about. 

 

As far as the training part, it’s difficult for me because I’m not thinking as a trainer.  I’m only thinking as a fighter.  I took my training hat off when I left Germany. When I get back from here, I’ll pick that hat back up and put it back on, but right now, my thoughts are simply either as a fighter and I let my trainer think as himself.

 

Q        

My last question to you is Tom mentioned earlier when he opened the call that you want to prove that your win over Seth wasn’t a fluke.  Is that something that you feel has been out there because I know Seth has given you full credit for executing and I’m just kind of wondering where Tom might be getting that, where you might-have you heard anything like that that makes you ...?

 

Banks 

You see a lot of things from public.  I’ve heard different things here, well, he just was a hyped-up individual.  Well, none of that is really-that doesn’t matter to me because I know Johnathon Banks.  I know that I was prepared and that I was just going out for a fight. 

 

So, people may say that I was hyped up over the death of Steward, that this was a fluke, this ... happen to happen, but the rest of it, it doesn’t bother me.  I’ve heard it.  It plays no effect on me.  It doesn’t bother me because like I say, I know what it was and I know what it is, and the thing about it at the end of the day, there’s still going to be a fight. 

 

So, I don’t believe in flukes.  I don’t believe in it just so happen become this or that.  I prepared for the fight and I became victorious and this is fight ... begin.  We both have to train for the fight and only one here can be victorious.  So, as always, I always wish my opponent a healthy training camp and I wish myself a healthy training camp so we can get in there and perform in front of the world.

 

Q        

My last question for both of you-who is the pressure most on in this fight?  Is it on Seth because he lost, or is it on you because you won a fight that some people thought you were going to lose and now you have to prove it’s not a fluke?  To both of you, who’s got the most pressure on them or who’s, in your perception, who’s under the most?

 

Mitchell         

Me personally, I think the pressure’s on me.  The pressure’s on me.  It’s one thing to lose, but it’s another thing to lose back to back to the same fighter.  So, I believe the pressure is on me, but I’ve said this from day one-I want to be in a situation where the stakes are high.  That means you’re headed in the right direction.  So, I think the pressure is on me.  I accept it.  I relish the challenge and the June 22nd, we’re going to get it in. 

 

Banks 

I think the pressure’s on me.  I do.  I think the pressure’s on me that they’re saying he came on TV, he did this and let’s see if he can do it again.  I think the pressure’s on me, and just like he said, I accept the challenge too.  I’ve never ran from pressure.  I accept it.  I embrace it.  So, I really believe the pressure is on me and I’m happy to hear how-I have no doubt that Seth will accept the challenge.  I accepted the challenge, and like I say, June 22nd, we going to get it in. 

 

Q        

I’ll start my first question for Seth.  After the first fight, I know you had the right to ask John to give you the immediate rematch and I’m sure that you spent some time thinking about it and talking with your trainer and your team, but was there any discussion or thought either in their minds or in your minds about the prospect of possibly taking some interim fight first rather than going right back in with the guy that had stopped you?

 

Mitchell         

Not at all.  This is a true story.  When I went back into the dressing room, I was devastated that I had lost.  It was a tough loss for me, but my first question is to Al.  I asked him two questions.  I said how far did this set me back and when can we get the rematch.  That was my first two questions to Al, and I just wanted to get back in there not because I didn’t think-I just wanted to get back in there because I’m a fighter and I lost. 

 

When stakes are high, this is a very, very important fight for me, and I understand that and I don’t tend to bet with my heart.  When I’m betting, I bet with my head, and I truly believe that I can beat Johnathon Banks.  He beat me the first fight, but I truly believe that I’m a better fighter and I have to show better than what I showed and that was just my mindset. 

 

I wanted to get in there and correct this wrong, and I know he’s going to come to fight, but I’m going to come to fight as well.  Like I said, man, I am truly a better fighter.  I keep saying that, but I don’t like to really talk a lot, man, I just got to go out there and show and that’s why I want everybody to just tune in on June 22nd and they’re going to be in for a shock.  They’re going to be like wow, this cat really did go back, look at his tapes, see what he did wrong and this loss definitely made him a better fighter. 

 

Q        

Seth, when you asked Al those two questions in the dressing room, what were his answers about how far did this set you back and when can we get the rematch?

 

Mitchell         

He said not long.  Actually, he answered the question probably about two or three days later, and he said it probably was about a seven to eight month setback but we’ll get that rematch and you’ll just take care of business.

 

Q        

I understand you as the athlete, the competitive spirit to desire and go make things right in your mind and get the revenge and all that, but that’s why boxers pay their advisors and their trainers and the people that work with them to try to take a step back and look for the betterment of the guy’s career in the long term.  Did anybody on your team, Al, Sharif, whoever, talk to you about maybe taking an interim fight, trying to convince you otherwise even though you were going to be very adamant about wanting to do the immediate rematch?  Did anybody on the team think that maybe it was best to take the interim fight? 

 

Mitchell         

There was no talk about an interim fight.  The only time that came up is when Johnathon got hurt, and once Johnathon got hurt, honestly I didn’t want to wait seven months, another four months to fight him. I wanted to stay active and fight, but things happen for a reason.  That didn’t happen, and June 22nd, it’s going to be Johnathon Banks.

 

Q        

When you were getting ready for the second fight and you had the thumb injury, obviously that’s not the type of thing you can go into a fight and fight with, but can you talk about the circumstances of what happened with that and then what your feelings and thoughts were when that happened and you knew that there’s no way you can go in there and this was going to have to be postponed?

 

Banks 

Well, actually I was going to fight with a broken thumb because I wanted to fight, and I don’t like to, me personally as a fighter, I don’t like preparing for a fight-preparing for a fight, you’re spending your money.  Preparing for a fight and then you call the fight off, I don’t like doing that, and I was going to go through with the fight.  Vladimir Klitschko called me and asked me not to go through with the fight.  He said, dude, you broke your thumb, why would you take the risk going to a fight handicapped. 

 

I wasn’t thinking with my mind.  I’m thinking with my heart because I just wanted to fight.  That’s just me.  I’m saying regardless I want to fight. 

 

So, I sat down, thought about it and it was bandaged up, I couldn’t use it.  I was just going to use my left hand to finish up the training, but no matter what, I listened to what he said and that’s why I went on and called off the fight, but I mean, I didn’t want to do it because I mean, no fighter likes to be hear about this ... a week or a week and a half, two weeks before the fight. 

 

Q        

So, you took a call from Vladimir Klitschko to convince you not to go into a fight on this caliber, this significance with a hand that you would obviously not be able to use very well?

 

Banks 

Yes because that’s just-I just wanted to fight. Right.  I’m a fighter.  I just want to fight.  So, I figured if I could walk, if I could talk, if I could throw it, I said let’s fight, but like I say, he talked to me,.  That’s why once again, that’s why you surround yourself with people that are knowledgeable about the game so when you not thinking knowledgeable, they can bring you back to reality. 

 

Q        

So, now in retrospect, the way that it ended up going down, I have to imagine that you feel as though you made the right decision to postpone it? 

 

Banks 

Definitely, definitely.  I definitely made the right decision because as I said once that night, once I sat and thought about it and I said you know what, he’s right, why will I go into fight handicap because I don’t like to say okay, Johnathon Banks, you lost the second fight, what happened, I said well, you know, I don’t know.  I want to be 100%.  If I lose, let me lose at 100%.  I can live with that, losing at 100%, but I can’t live with being halfway ready and then I lose.  I don’t want anything like that to happen. 

 

Q        

Also, if you do lose in that situation, then you’re in a position of do I just keep my mouth shut and I got the loss or do you say something and have guys like me say all you’re doing is making excuses?

 

Banks 

Exactly.  I would just keep my mouth shut.  You would never know it unless somebody else came and told you or unless somebody came and whispered in your ear, you wouldn’t know because I wouldn’t have said anything. 

 

Q        

Do you think that just from a pain threshold and a physical aspect of making the fight that you could have actually gone and fought with a broken thumb?

 

Banks 

I know I couldn’t.  I couldn’t even ball my fist up.  It was too swolen for me to ball my fist up, but I’m just talking to you about the will of a fighter that wanted to fight.  That’s how I’m coming to you from.  I wasn’t thinking as an individual saying do you know what, I shouldn’t fight because it could be long-term damage, it could be nerve.  I wasn’t thinking like that. 

 

Q        

So, how is the thumb now?  Are you perfectly back to normal?  There’s no issues?

 

Banks 

Everything is fine. 

 

Q        

Well, I’m glad to hear that.  Tom, are you there, Tom Loeffler?

 

Loeffler          

Yes, I’m still here. 

 

Q        

Are you the one that called up Vladimir and told him talk to Johnathon he’s acting crazy?

 

Loeffler          

No, actually Johnathon had let him know ahead of time once he went to see the doctor and everything like that and I think he was just looking at letting Vladimir know.  I naturally agreed with what Vladimir explained to him because in a fight like this, at this caliber and at so much at stake, it just doesn’t make sense to go into it.  Every fighter is never really 100% after sparring and little nicks and bruises and things like that, but to have a broken thumb and to go into a fight like this just wouldn’t really have made sense, although it did take a little while to convince Johnathon of that, I know that.

 

Q        

I know that in your last fight with Johnathon, you were on your way to a professional title shot against one of the title holders, and I know you were hurt against Chazz Witherspoon.  You recovered in that fight.  Was it more difficult to recover against Johnathon Banks because of his experience?

 

Mitchell         

I guess you could say.  He did the right thing.  I guess Chazz Witherspoon when I got hurt and he had got close, he allowed me to grab him and gave me the time to recover whereas in that instance when I had got buzzed and tried to grab Johnathon, he stepped back and he kept his hands going and didn’t allow me to fully recover and that allowed me to get knocked down two more times and the ref stopped the fight.  So, I guess that could be attributed to his experience, but it is what it is.  It’s something that happened and I just had to learn from it and I believe I have. 

 

Q        

Do you think in your last fight that you were overconfident going into this since you dominated some of the other opponents?

 

Mitchell         

I wouldn’t necessarily say that I was overconfident.  I never underestimate any of my opponents. I train extremely hard, and I don’t go out there trying to take everybody head off, but when you look at my record, before this fight, I had knocked out I believe either 12 or 13 or 13 of my last 14 opponents and then when I went back and looked at the tape, even though I don’t in my mouth I don’t say that I’m trying to go out there and destroy my opponent, that’s what my actions showed, and it caught up with me that night. 

 

Q        

Yes.  My last question for you is-obviously Johnathon being a trainer and also a fighter, he got to see different tactics that fighters use to the ability to beat another opponent.  Do you think him obviously being a trainer and a fighter, that helped him to adapt to your styles since you have a little less experience than him?

 

Mitchell         

I think just his experience in general definitely might have helped him out, but he’s a fighter as well.  Like he said, when you get in that ring, a lot of times you take that training hat off and you become a fighter and he did what he was supposed to do.  I have no excuses.  I just got to get better, so better, and I definitely plan on doing that on the 22nd. 

 

Q        

Now, obviously since you beat Seth in your last fight, I know that you trained the Klitschkos, was that something that you were looking for before having a rematch with Seth?

 

Banks 

What do you mean? 

 

Q        

No, were you actually looking to fight a Klitschko because there’s a couple of rumors that you might fight a Klitschko even though you trained them before?

 

Banks 

No.  I wasn’t looking to anything actually before the fight.  I was looking for Mitchell. I wasn’t looking to fight-I wasn’t beefing with any other fighter, but him.

 

Q        

Would you ever fight one of the Klitschkos though for the title?

 

Banks 

Who knows?  I don’t know.  That’s a question that really can’t be answered because the question really is null and void if I can’t be successful on June 22nd. 

 

Q        

That’s true.  Now, your training style, do you think that helped you in the fight against Seth Mitchell last time, having that training mentality and then like Seth just said, the training mentality kind of goes out the window and then the fighting mentality takes over?

 

Banks 

Well, I wear two different hats.  I wear a training hat and a fighter hat.  When it’s time for me to prepare for my fight, the training hat goes off and the fighter hat comes on.  So, the two don’t connect with one another. 

 

When I’m a fighter, I’m a pure student of the game, and I’m listening to my trainer.  When I’m a trainer, that’s when I’m a pure trainer, I’m a teacher of the game.  So, it’s just two different situations.  So, to answer the question, I don’t think-it didn’t hurt me, but I don’t necessarily say it just helped me out to be also to be a trainer in boxing.

 

Q        

Obviously, having Emanuel Steward in your corner for a while, that obviously rubbed off on you.  How did his training tactics help you as a fighter and also as a trainer?

 

Banks 

Well, most of all, you got to understand that for literally for 15 years, I traveled with him.  I’ve been around him and lived with him.  I learnt a lot from this man.  So, like I say, everything that I’ve accomplished in boxing that the majority-a lot of the things I accomplished in boxing I owe to him because he taught me so much, and he was a big influence.

 

Q        

One question for both you guys, same question.  Just talk about some of the challenges mentally and physically you have in such a long layoff.  It’s been seven months since you’ve fought.  What are the difficulties of waiting so long in between fights and how do you manage that? 

 

Mitchell         

Well, for me I just-once the fight got made-I was back in the gym.  We fought November 17th, I believe.  I was back in the gym the first week in December, not training like really hard but just getting back into the gym, and once the fight was scheduled, I went into my training camp, and then once the fight got postponed, I just stayed in the gym but then I wasn’t killing myself in the gym because you don’t want to over train or peak too soon, and that’s just how I handled it.  I’m always in the gym. In six and a half years, I’ve never been out of the gym longer than three and a half weeks. 

 

I always go to the gym. I just starting so late, I have to stay in the gym to continue to learn and I believe that’s why my learning curve has grown so rapidly, but it’s just staying in the gym, not overtraining, not sparring all the time because your body-mentally and physically, you can get worn out, at least I can, but just stay in the gym and stay sharp and try to learn from my trainer Andre Hunter.  That’s just how I approached it, but I’m ready to go though.

 

Q        

Johnathon, same question to you.  Obviously, you had the injury to heal from, but just the long layoff and how do you expect that to affect you if at all?

 

Banks 

I’ve had longer than this, so it doesn’t affect me at all.  You talk about I’ve been in boxing for quite some time now.  So, a long layoff, a short layoff, the preparation is the same.  So, no, I don’t feel that it will affect me at all. 

 

Q        

This one’s for Seth and I want to ask a similar question to Johnathon.  When title shots at heavyweight are often handed out to fighters after just a few solid wins, it’s fairly easy to get a world title shot at heavyweight sometimes compared to other weight classes, do you think victory over Johnathon will get you close to a world title shot, and do you think you’re ready for one?

 

Mitchell         

I definitely think that a victory will get me closer, hopefully a title eliminator or somewhere in that caliber, and I definitely feel that I’m ready.  I’ve grown a lot and this fight has definitely made me better, and on the 22nd, the world will see that I’m not calling the first fight a fluke at all.  I’ve said from day one, Johnathon did what he had to do, he did what he was supposed to do, but he also made me a better fighter, and I definitely feel that I want the big fight, and after this fight, I have to go out here and take care of business, but after this fight, I definitely want the big fight, and I definitely think it’ll move me closer to a title shot not only because I just won my next fight but it says something to accept the challenge and fight the person that just not only beat you but stops you in the second round to not fight anybody else, go back, take care of that business and it just shows the character, shows the type of fighter and the type of person and man that I am. 

 

Q        

Before you lost to Johnathon, you were quite frankly, the highest-ranked prospect in America in heavyweight boxing and that loss set you back somewhat, but would you say that victory over Johnathon would just put you say back where you were anyway?  It would basically just delete your loss on your record?

 

Mitchell         

I believe it will, I believe it will, and that’s why I’ve trained very hard.  I’m ready to fight now actually.  I’m just maintaining now, but I’m excited about the fight and I definitely think that within this fight it might even put me higher than what I would have been if I hadn’t loss because like I said before, it says something about a man’s character, it says something about a fighter to not take any tune-up fights and just go back in there and win the fight. It shows something about the kind of fighter that you’re made of. 

 

Q        

This one’s to Johnathon.  It’s a similar question.  I hope it’s not too controversial for you.  If you’re victorious over Seth for a second time, you would surely be in the line for a world title shot, but do you think you could ever step in the ring with Vladimir, and if you did get a world title shot, would you probably go after the Vitali instead?

 

Banks 

That is a little difficult question to answer because I really I can’t adjust my vision to see past June 22nd.  So, that’s what’s on my radar.  That’s the biggest-I don’t know if you saw Seth Mitchell, but he’s a big guy.  So, I’ve got a big old guy in front of me.  So, that’s all I’m looking at. 

 

So, it’s kind of difficult for me to try to look past that particular date and say, for instance, for the future, do I want to be the heavyweight champion of the world?  Yes.  Will I be?  I definitely believe so, but like I say, all of that is really null and void if I can’t put on a good performance and be victorious on June 22nd.

 

Q        

Well, talking about performances, going into your first fight with Seth, did you believe that you could possibly pull of the KO win because you had an early knock out?  Was that your plan, and do you think a similar thing could happen in the rematch?

 

Banks 

Well, going in the fight, I knew that I’m in the heavyweight division, and I know that one punch can turn the whole fight around.  Did I plan to stop him in the second round?  No.  Did I think that was going to happen?  No. I was prepared for 12 rounds. 

 

Right now, I’m prepared to go 12 rounds.  I’m not just jumping in looking for a rush and hurry to get a knock out.  I’m prepared to go 12 rounds, and when the bell rings, we’ll see what happens.  But no, I didn’t try to predict-I’ll be lying to say if I predicted the fight would end early or it would end by knockout.  No, I had no clue that it would.

 

Q        

Okay.  I’ve got one final question for you.  We often see a heavyweight especially in recent years, naming no names, but we all know who we’re talking about, we often see a lot of animosity between fighters especially at heavyweight.  Would you say that there’s any animosity between the two of you or do you have nothing but respect for each other, and why would you say that your characters are like that and not so fiery like other fighters?

 

Banks 

Me personally, I can’t speak for any other fighters, but what I will say is the situation that we’re-I don’t feel that you have to have animosity against an opponent to fight them.  Also, you have to have animosity against an opponent to go up against them or defeat them. 

 

This is a business that we’re in and me and Seth Mitchell both have a job to do.  So, his job is to beat or knock out his opponent, and my job is to beat or knock out my opponent.  We both have a job.  What happens in this particular job is we’re facing each other.  If he was facing someone else or someone else, I believe his job would be the same and my job would be the same. 

 

Mitchell         

I definitely I feel that to say I look at it like this-this is a business.  My opponent’s going to prepare.  I’m going to prepare.  I want everybody to do what a lot of fighters out there, they hate all other fighters because they’re doing this and they’re doing that.  The bottom line, when you get in the ring, you have to do what you’re supposed to do.  If you take care of what you’re supposed to do, then everything will be all right, and I truly believe that if I hate on somebody else and don’t want them to succeed, God is not going to continue to bless me and that’s just how I look at it.  That’s just my nature.

 

Q        

Because of the way the first fight ended, do you feel that you need to not only win this fight but win in a really explosive way?

 

Mitchell         

I need to win the fight.  That’s my mindset.  Obviously, I always want to go out there and I want to look impressive, and my style resonates with the fans and with the people, but at this point in time, these days in my career especially with this fight, the victory is most important.  I’ve got to get the W.

 

Q        

You were just talking about being professional and doing your job.  What do you think about the way that Malignaggi and Broner are approaching their fight in the main event?

 

Mitchell         

To each his own.  I’m big fans of both of them.  Adrien Broner and me have a personal relationship, but I know Paul Malignaggi but not on a personal relationship level, but both of them are hell of a fighters and I can’t speak on how they feel their fight.  That’s just what they do.  To each his own, but I know I’m looking forward to a good fight.

 

Q        

Okay.  For Johnathon, you stopped him early in the first fight, so you already have kind of a blueprint on how to do it.  Are you going to be looking to just go out and land something big again?  Is that the way to beat Seth Mitchell?

 

Banks 

I think going out trying to land something big is the way you get some big.  So, I didn’t plan that the first fight.  I didn’t go out trying to land something big, and I’m not going to go out there this time trying to look smack-down big.  I’m a boxer, that’s what I do, move around the box.  So, if I see an opening, I’ll try to capitalize on it, but like you say, it’s going to be a couple battles, it’s going to be a tough fight, but am I looking to go out there, start winging punches and see what happens?  No, that’s not what I’m going to do. 

 

Q        

Same question for you about Malignaggi and Broner.  What do you think of the way they’re approaching the fight in terms of the way that you and Seth are approaching the fight?

 

Banks 

Well, it’s almost the same thing that Mitchell said.  To each his own.  This is what they-these are these guys’ personalities, and I think no matter what, when you have two fighters, you must show their personalities.  These guys’ fans, they’re talkers.  It’s what they do.  It’s their personalities.  So, that’s what they’re doing.

 

Q        

Okay.  Just one last question for you-are you still sparring at all with Vladimir when you’re training him now or do you just leave that to the other people?

 

Banks 

I leave it to other people.  I haven’t seen Vladimir in a little while, so I leave it to the other guys.  I leave it to the other guys to do so. 

 

Swanson         

That’s the end of our call.  You guys, if you want to make one last quick comment and we’ll let you go back to the gym, I imagine.  Why don’t we start with Seth?

 

Mitchell         

I just want to just thanks everybody again for being on the call.  It’s been a long time coming.  I’m well prepared.  I know Johnathon and I know you’re prepared, but just be ready for a good fight because I’m going to bring it.  June 22nd is going to be a good fight and I definitely plan on being victorious. 

 

Banks 

Thank you, Kelly.  I wish Seth Mitchell a good training camp, a good finishing of the camp, hopefully no injuries and I wish myself the same thing. Once again, I am really I’m excited.  I look forward to Jun 22nd.  It’s going to be a very good show.

 

Swanson         

Awesome.  Thanks you guys.  Thanks, everybody, for joining us and we’ll see you on the 22nd and we’ll also have an update on the 22nd as far as tight league information, soon to be distributed to the media.  Thank you so much.  Bye.

 

END OF CALL

 

Malignaggi vs. Broner, a 12-round fight for Malignaggi’s WBA Welterweight World Championship, will take place Saturday, June 22, 2013 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and R & R Promotions, supported by Golden Boy Promotions’ sponsors Corona and AT&T and will be televised live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT (delayed on the West Coast).  In the co-featured bouts, Johnathon Banks will look to repeat his 2012 upset win over Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell as he defends his NABO and WBC International Heavyweight titles in a 12-round fight presented in association with K2 Promotions and number one rated WBC super middleweight contender Sakio Bika faces number four rated WBC super middleweight contender Marco Antonio Periban in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Super Middle weight World Championship.  SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® is available in Spanish on secondary audio programming (SAP).  Preliminary fights will air on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). 

 

Tickets, priced at $250, $125, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges are available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, by calling 800-745-3000 and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center beginning on Saturday, April 27 at noon ET.  For group tickets, please call 800-GROUP-BK.

 

For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com or www.sports.sho.com, follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GoldenBoyBoxing, www.twitter.com/paulmalignaggi, www.twitter.com/AdrienBroner,www.twitter.com/BanksBoxingEnt, www.twitter.com/sethmayhem24www.twitter.com/barclayscenter and www.twitter.com/SHOSports, follow the conversation using #PaulieBroner or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing and www.facebook.com/SHOSports.



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