The son of a blue-collar working family, Mitchell first stepped into a boxing gym in 1978 when his father let him tag along. By the following year, Mitchell was a regular, trying to escape the hard streets and finding salvage in the squared circle. Still, growing up in a family that emphasized education over all else, Mitchell attended Howard and Maryland universities before he finally turned his sights permanently to the sweet science. After accumulating a 153-7 amateur record, the mighty southpaw joined the professional ranks in 1988, with a third-round knockout of Ed Colon on Sept. 23. His perfect record remained intact for 31 straight fights, until he met world-ranked contender Leavander Johnson on March 18, 1994. Then he lost his second consecutive fight when he met future world champion Steve Johnston on June 21, 1994 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Mitchell, however, rebounded like the champion he has always known he is. The powerful lefty knocked out his next eight opponents, all within five rounds. Following 11 straight wins to up his record to 42-2, including 29 KOs, the Little Big Man finally earned his title shot against WBA Super Lightweight Champion Khalid Rahilou on October 10, 1998 in Bercy, France. Mitchell did not know much about the French world champion, but had seen one fight where he defeated American Frankie Randall. "I won't make the same mistake Randall did," vowed Mitchell. A 10-year wait for a world title shot transformed into a "dream come true," as Mitchell was more than convincing in registering a unanimous decision. Rahilou was sent to the canvas four times, including twice in the second round. "He was simply the fastest boxer I have ever fought against," said the Moroccan-born Rahilou, who came into the fight with a 32-2 mark. The first defense of his new WBA crown came in Washington, D.C. on February 6, a "stone's throw" away from Mitchell's hometown of Takoma Park, Md. Excited about performing in front of a partisan crowd for the first time as a world champion, Mitchell was anxious when the bout against Pedro Saiz began. The fight turned sloppy and was stopped a couple of times when Saiz continuously hit below the belt. Following a long break from a vicious low blow in the fourth, Mitchell dazed Saiz with a flurry of punches that forced the challenger to take a knee. Saiz survived the round and the fight, although he came out of the 12-round battle as a lopsided loser in a unanimous decision. Since then Mitchell has gone on to defend the title against Reggie Green, Elio Ortiz and Felix Florez. Mitchell is single and has a daughter, Mercedez. When not fighting, he trains other fighters, including world champion Isra Girgrah. He also enjoys football, soccer, basketball and track and is a fan of Anita Baker and Janet Jackson.
Round 1 - Is this the fight that elevates your reputation and prepares you for Zab Judah? Mitchell - This is a big fight. I know I am not looking at Zab Judah now, I am looking right at this fight. I do not see that Judah makes a difference to either my or Tszyu's careers, because we are the biggest names, the best fighters in the 140-lb. division. Both of us chose to meet the other top fighter in the division, and that is what makes this (fight) one of the greats. One of us is going to come out victorious, and I plan to be there at the end. Round 2 - You have claimed that Tszyu is nothing special, one-dimensional in terms of talent, is that just talk, or do you really consider him to be just an ordinary fighter? Do you put yourself on a more elite level? Mitchell: I think that every fighter is just an ordinary fighter unless they have something special. Tszyu has punching power, but other than that, I do not see anything great about him. I put myself in with the best of the elite, with Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Roy Jones; I put myself in those categories. Tszyu is a good fighter. I am just the Sugar Ray Leonard that has his (Roberto) Duran, and that is the way it is going to be. Round 3 - With so many more career rounds and fights than Tszyu, do you consider yourself an old man in boxing, or are you in your prime? Mitchell: If you look at it, I am really in my prime years, but I think I am really old to boxing. That does work as an advantage; I've been a pro for a long time. Round 4 - Do you think there are questions about your chin because you have been stopped a couple of times? Mitchell: Stopped a couple of times? I was stopped only one time, really, by Stevie Johnston (on June 21, 1994), who got help from the referee. That was years ago, and I do not worry about that. In those fights I did not prepare myself; I beat myself. Things like that can happen if you do not prepare yourself, but I am prepared each and every time out in my fights now, and for this one I am doubly prepared. I am looking forward to being the WBA and WBC champion. Every time I go into my gym, every day I look at this poster of Sugar Ray Leonard that says, "WBA & WBC Welterweight Champion," and that is what I want to be. If we (Team Mitchell) fight Zab Judah, I really want to do it in Philadelphia. Because It is half an hour from New York and half an hour from Washington DC. Round 5 - Mitchell, what did you learn from your two losses (to Johnston and Leavander Johnson) back in 1994? Mitchell: I learned that you never take anyone lightly. You have got to be prepared for anything to happen on any day. Now I treat this as my job, not just as a sport. Round 6 - Mitchell, what special preparation have you been doing to prepare for Tszyu, since he is such a big hitter? Mitchell: Nothing really special, I have just been concentrating on my diet and trying to get my punches off a little faster. Round 7 - Mitchell, to whom do you compare yourself in terms of style? Mitchell: I've taken my style from a lot of places, a little Ali, some Hector Camacho, I try to do a little Sugar Ray Robinson, and I definitely try to do a little Sugar Ray Leonard. The heart and the will to win is Leonard's part. My movement is most like Camacho's. Round 8 - Are you expecting this fight to go into the late rounds like your last 5 fights? Mitchell: This fight could go either way. My job is to get into the ring and win, and that is what I know how to do best - win. I do not care how I win, I am going to win, whether it is by knockout or decision. Round 9 - Are you working in camp on maintaining the sharpness you show in early rounds into later rounds? Mitchell: A lot of little things, but it is fights like this, when I am the underdog, that I like best. I love fights like this. It takes me to another level. This is what I got into boxing for, unifications, getting another championship ring. Round 10 - What will be your game plan in this fight? Mitchell: The name of the game is stick and move.
Born in Tacoma Park (Maryland) Aug-27-1970 Height: 1,70 m / 5 ft. 7 in. Style: Southpaw Record: 47 wins (29 KO) and 2 losses - 1988 - W (Sep-23-1988, Atlantic City) Ed Colon TKO 3 W (Oct-11-1988, Atlantic City) Randy Kearse TKO 2 W (Nov-22-1988, Atlantic City) Willie Rivera W 4 - 1989 - W (Jan-15-1989, Atlantic City) Craig Wills W 4 W (Mar-23-1989, Baltimore) Tom Baker W 6 W (Apr-27-1989, Washington) Verrol Liverpool W 6 W (May-23-1989, Atlantic City) Javier Lopez TKO 2 W (Aug-16-1989, Washington) Perry Mc Queen KO 1 W (Sep-21-1989, Atlantic City) Aristide Acevedo W 8 W (Oct-26-1989, Atlantic City) Juan Torres TKO 3 W (Nov-16-1989, Atlantic City) Joe Alexander W 8 - 1990 - W (Jan-11-1990, Atlantic City) Dana Roston TKO 1 W (Feb-1-1990, Atlantic City) Bobby Brewer W 8 W (Mar-8-1990, Atlantic City) Rafael Limon W 8 W (Apr-3-1990, Philadelphia) Billy Young W 10 W (Apr-29-1990, Atlantic City) Ritchie Wenton W 8 W (Jul-5-1990, Washington) Eric Podolak TKO 5 W (Jul-20-1990, Atlantic City) Fred Seville TKO 5 W (Sep-7-1990, Washington) Rodney Fennell TKO 6 W (Nov-1-1990, Atlantic City) Robert Byrd TKO 7 - 1991 - W (Jan-16-1991, Lanham) Kevin Marston W 10 W (Mar-19-1991, Woodbridge) Felix Gonzalez TKO 5 W (Apr-10-1991, Lanham) Darryl Richardson KO 2 W (Jul-23-1991, Atlantic City) Miguel Santana TKO 3 W (Oct-29-1991, Washington) Keeley Thompson TKO 10 - 1992 - W (Jan-14-1992, Atlantic City) Leo Martinez TKO 1 W (Feb-15-1992, Las Vegas) Gilberto Sanchez TKO 5 W (Apr-22-1992, East Rutherford) Rocky Lockridge W 10 W (Nov-29-1992, Washington) Eric Whitfield TKO 2 - 1993 - W (May-22-1993, Washington) Kenny Baysmore KO 1 W (Nov-6-1993, Las Vegas) Chad Broussard TKO 1 (North America, Lightweight) - 1994 - L (Mar-18-1994, Las Vegas) Levander Johnson KOby 8 (North America, Lightweight) L (Jun-21-1994, Las Vegas) Steve Johnston TKOby 9 W (Oct-22-1994, Washington) Lyndon Paul Walker KO 2 - 1995 - W (May-23-1995, Auburn Hills) Wayne Boudreaux TKO 5 W (Sep-16-1995, Las Vegas) Terronn Millett TKO 1 W (Nov-21-1995, Washington) James Gatlin TKO 5 W (Dec-7-1995, Upper Marlboro) Allen Osborne TKO 2 - 1996 - W (Feb-10-1996, Las Vegas) Harold Bennett TKO 1 W (Apr-11-1996, Dallas) Gilberto Sanchez KO 2 W (Oct-19-1996, Upper Marlboro) John Stewart KO 1 - 1997 - W (May-10-1997, Miami) Jose Barboza W 12 W (Jul-15-1997, Nashville) Dezi Ford KO 5 - 1998 - W (Feb-21-1998, Miami) Bobby Elkins TKO 1 W (Oct-10-1998, Paris) Khalid Rahilou W 12 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) - 1999 - W (Feb-6-1999, Washington) Pedro Saiz W 12 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) W (Apr-24-1999, Washington) Reggie Green W 12 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) W (Nov-13-1999, Las Vegas) Elio Ortiz W 12 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight) - 2000 - W (Sep-16-2000, Las Vegas) Felix Flores W 12 (W.B.A., Juniorwelterweight)