Seth Mitchell has been on HBO twice now and has fought less than five rounds. In his first appearance, he scored a second-round knockout of Timur Ibragimov. Saturday night, on the undercard of Dawson-Hopkins II, he needed three rounds to stop Chazz Witherspoon and pick up the NABO heavyweight title in the process.
Witherspoon appeared to be ready to pull the upset with a solid first round. He began the round circling and boxing at a distance. Midway through the round he began an aggressive, long-range attack and rocked Mitchell several times with hard overhand rights.
Mitchell showed resolve when he came out to change the momentum in Round 2, which he did by being aggressive and landing some heavy body shots. Then, in Round 3, Witherspoon made the mistake of mixing it up inside with Mitchell and paid a heavy price. The two were trading in close when Mitchell landed a right hand followed by a flush left hook that sent Witherspoon to the ground.
Witherspoon beat the count, but had little left in his legs. Without movement, Witherspoon was a sitting duck for the aggressive Mitchell, who seemed destined to have an early night. Mitchell closed the show, landing two huge right hands. The second one sent Witherspoon into the ropes, but referee Randi Neumann began counting, ruling it a knockdown, with Witherspoon being saved by the ropes. Quickly into the count Neumann decided Witherspoon (30-3, 22 KOs) had nothing left and called a halt to the bout at 2:31 of Round 3.
Mitchell, the former star lineback at Michigan State turned boxer, continues to impress every time out and has shown he is a true contender as opposed to just another football player looking to play in the ring. Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs) is gaining momentum and, judging from the loud support he had in Boardwalk Hall, has plenty of fans. Assuming he continues being impressive in the ring, bigger and better things should not be far away.
Shawn Porter remained undefeated, stopping Patrick Thomson in the sixth of a scheduled eight-round welterweight bout. For extended periods of the fight Porter seemed content to dance around the ring throwing flurries and racking up points. He was clearly winning the fight but had the opportunity to be impressive on the big stage with an opponent in front of him who was well below his league.
In Round 6, Porter did just that when he stepped on the gas. He and Thompson began getting into exchanges and Porter was getting the best of the action. Thompson (18-18, 8 KO) got hurt by several hard left uppercuts and hooks and referee David Fields stepped in to stop the action at 1:39 of the sixth.
Porter goes to 19-0 (14 KOs). It seems that it would be about time to step him up to a higher level of competition and find out if he is capable of bigger and better things.
"Definitely going to go back and take a look at it. I was sharp," Porter told The Boxing Tribune after the fight. "There was a point where I got in a little too close. Overall a pretty clean performance, landing a lot of what I wanted and just showcased my skills."
Porter talked about turning it up in the sixth round and deciding it was time to go for the finish.
"We were seeing it," he said. "My punches got faster. He got slower. My corner said it was only a matter of time before that big hook landed."
Phil Lo Greco and Hector Orozco to started the action in Atlantic City. Considering Lo Greco is undefeated and Orozco has twice as many losses as wins, it was a surprise when Orozco scored a flash knockdown in the opening seconds. Lo Greco came back strong to dominate the rest of the six-round welterweight bout, gaining a unanimous decision by scores of 59-54 and 58-55 twice. Lo Greco stays unbeaten (23-0, 12 KOs) while Orozco falls to 5-11.
Local Philadelphia fighter Julian Williams looked strong on offense and defense as he won a unanimous decision over Hector Rosario by scores of 79-73 twice and 78-74 in their eight-round junior middleweight bout. Williams moved backward and around the ring most of the fight as Rosario pursued, but once they engaged Williams (9-0-1, 4 KOs) had little trouble landing hard right hands and quick left hooks while slipping Rosario's (7-2-2, 5 KOs) wider punches.
"I wanted to pace myself. It was my first eight rounder and I didn't want to get crazy," Williams said after the fight.
Williams said he moved a lot in this fight due to Rosario having a solid punch and believes this fight and his last fight, a tough outing with Erberto Medina, gave him good learning experiences and show he is ready for the next level.
"I got a solid chin, I'm from Philadelphia and we gonna fight so that's how it goes," Williams said.
Lavarn Harvell (10-0, 1 KO) provided the first knockout of the night with a vicious one-punch left hook that sent Tony Pietrantonio (7-9, 6 KOs) to his back. The fight was waived off immediately and medical personnel were brought to the ring to attend to Pietrantonio, who did rise and leave on his own. The official end was at 31 seconds of Round 3. The bout was fought at light heavyweight and was scheduled for four rounds. The Atlantic City product Harvell was fighting at home and had his share of supporters in the audience.
Mike Faragon (17-0, 8 KOs) rolled to a decisive but competitive unanimous-decision over Sergio Rivera (16-9-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-round lightweight bout. The fight was exciting as both men were willing to stand and trade, but the more talented Faragon got the better of it during the in close exchanges. Faragon won by scores of 78-74 and 79-73 twice.