Thursday, March 21, 2013
Banks-Mitchell II still on hold
By Dan Rafael
Johnathon Banks was looking forward to a rematch with Seth Mitchell ... before he got injured.
The heavyweight rematch between Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell is still supposed to take place, but it will be put off a little longer because of Banks’ injured thumb.
Banks scored an upset when he knocked out Mitchell in the second round on Nov. 17 in Atlantic City, N.J. Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs), who had a rematch clause, exercised his option and they were due to meet again in Atlantic City on Feb. 16 on the Adrien Broner-Gavin Rees undercard.
However, 10 days before the fight Banks broke his right thumb in a sparring session and the bout was postponed.
ESPN.com Boxing on Twitter
Don't miss any of our wall-to-wall boxing coverage, including live analysis of Saturday's fights. Twitter »
Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he was hoping to add the fight to his May 18 Showtime card in Atlantic City and had already worked it out with the network. It would have turned an already outstanding doubleheader into a tripleheader. Welterweight titlist Devon Alexander is set to defend against mandatory challenger Kell Brook on the show and Schaefer said he is in the process of finalizing the main event, which would feature junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson against Lucas Matthysse, an interim titlist.
On Wednesday, Schaefer got word from K2 promoter Tom Loeffler, who handles Banks, that Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) would be ready for May 18 and that they would take the fight.
However, later in the day Loeffler apologized to Golden Boy, saying that he checked with Banks, who said his thumb was still pretty sore and that he didn’t feel like he could be ready for the fight until after June 1.
“The fault lays with me for agreeing to something before confirming with Banks,” said Loeffler, a stand-up guy who admitted his error, something many in boxing would never do.
Another issue -- although it was not raised -- could be the fact that Banks is also training heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko for his May 4 defense with Francesco Pianeta. Banks pulled double duty preparing for the first Mitchell fight while also training Klitschko for a defense the week before, but that was a huge grind.
One thing Schaefer said is that whenever Banks-Mitchell II is rescheduled, it will take place on Showtime, where he now does all of his premium cable business. HBO, which televised the first fight and was set to air the rematch last month, cut its ties with Golden Boy this week because of ongoing issues with the promoter.