Eddy’s Preview and Analysis-Tszyu Vs Mitchell II
10.28.04 - By Eddy Manning: As the October/November drought hits full swing I thought there was no better time for a preview and analysis of the upcoming Light Welterweight Title fight between Kostya Tszyu and Sharmba Mitchell. Enjoy.
Article posted on 28.10.2004
With a large number of world championship bouts in the coming weeks and months, boxing fans are licking there lips in anticipation for there arrival. With the Light Welterweight championship the first to be decided on November 6th in Texas, P4P champion Kostya Tszyu will once again defend against Sharmba Mitchell who possibly gave Tszyu his hardest fight in recent years when they went seven rounds in 2001. Unfortunately, Mitchell’s knee didn’t want to hold that night and he had to retire at the conclusion of the 7th round, forfeiting his WBA championship in the process.
Tszyu was ahead at the time of stoppage but fans where left scratching there heads at how the fight may have finished. Commentator and boxing brain Bob Sheridan was commenting numerous times throughout the Mitchell bout on Tszyu’s ability to start slow and gain ascendancy as fights wear on, slowly but surely breaking his opponents down in the process. In the 5th, 6th and 7th round of the Mitchell bout we began to see this from Tszyu. Many will say, including of course the Mitchell camp that this was due to Mitchell’s knee, which he looked to have aggravated early on in the fight. Believable it may be, but on other hand regardless of Mitchell’s knee, Tszyu’s game plan of fighting, the same one that has seen him become a top 10 P4P fighter may have had the same effect on the Mitchell if he was in 100% peak physical condition.
Another twist and turn to think about when predicting a winner is the fighter’s comparison in activity over the last two years. Tszyu has fought once in the last 22 months against Jesse James Leija who he stopped in 6 rounds. Due to two major injury’s Tszyu has been forced to cancel and pull out of mandatory fights but is now seemingly at 100%. On the other hand Mitchell has been in the ring eight times since the Tszyu bout, coming out victorious on each occasion. On Mitchell’s hit list are such names as Vince Philips, Tszyu’s only conqueror and Australian light welterweight prospect Lovemore Ndou. Mitchell’s activity will definitely be a major help early on in the fight but Tszyu, who has been sparing Middleweight prospect Sam Solomon and training as hard as ever will certainly be prepared for combat. Fitness will be no problem for either fighter who both pride themselves on there conditioning.
Sharmba Mitchell will be coming out as the aggressor as Tszyu shakes off the ring rust in the early stages of the fight. Tszyu needs to assert some authority on the fight early if he wants respect from Mitchell, and it should come in the form of a major power advantage that Tszyu carries. A well timed shot early that either puts Mitchell back on his heels or down on the canvas will give Tszyu the psychological edge that he needs, and after being out of action for so long it could prove essential if Tszyu is to come out victorious. If Tszyu lets Mitchell crowd him and outbox him early it could be a long night at the office.
As I mentioned earlier in the piece, Tszyu is never out of a contest with both the ability to break down opponents in the later part of a fight and the rock solid punch he carry’s that could spell lights out for Mitchell at any time. Just like Tszyu, Mitchell carry’s strengths such as a good chin and slick, fast boxing skills with the ability to duck and counter better than most fighters in the division. The fight will be won by the fighter who can use there strengths the most, assertion and dominance aswell as a good early start
The fans left scratching their heads after the first fight can now stop sit back and watch the fight unfold, as Kostya Tszyu try’s to prove he is still the best Light Welterweight in the world and Sharmba Mitchell attempts to claim the crown that Tszyu has worn for the last four years.
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