In less than two rounds this past Saturday night, the global landscape of the heavyweight boxing division when Johnathon Banks’ devastating second round knockout of undefeated and highly regarded Seth Mitchell at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Plus, along with training for his heavyweight showdown with Mitchell, the 30-year-old Emanuel Steward Protégé was preparing WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in Austria for his defense against world ranked challenger Mariusz Wach. Klitschko’s fight took place on November 10 in Hamburg, Germany where he won a dominant twelve round decision with Banks in his corner.
“My training schedule was hard but I’ve been a boxing person my whole life. I trained twice each day for my fight with my trainer Javan ‘Sugar” Hill (Steward’s nephew) and I trained Wladimir twice each day for his fight” said the Detroit native. “Having Wladimir win his fight and then beating Mitchell on HBO a week later made it completely worthwhile” said the classy and humble Banks who was tabbed by Klitschko to lead his training camp and work his corner upon the untimely passing of Hall of Fame trainer Steward.
“Emanuel was my trainer, friend and mentor since I was 15. All the time I spent with him over the years in and out of the Kronk Gym prepared me for this time. I’m glad it worked out so well for Wlad and myself, just as Emanuel said it would go. We both felt his spirit in our fights and he was definitely still giving instructions from above.”
Added Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, “For a long time fans and media have looked for the next great heavyweight from the United States. Johnathon decisively added his name to the top of the list with his devastating stoppage of Mitchell. He had a terrific camp with the team in Austria and he was fully prepared for this fight. This win opens a lot of doors now for Johnathon and there are many great matches for him in the heavyweight division. It’s a true testament to him as a person and his talents in the ring that he could overcome the adversity he’s faced over the last two months and put on such a great performance. Never before has a fighter trained and worked the corner of the World Heavyweight Champion and then won his own highly significant title fight the following week.”