Boxing News

Q&A: Byron Mitchell

By Bob Caico


Former two-time WBA super middleweight champion Byron Mitchell (27-5-1, 20 KOs) takes on former world light heavyweight title challenger David Telesco (30-6-1, 26 KOs) Wednesday in what should be an entertaining eight-round contest at the Hilton Rye Town Hotel in Rye Brook, NY. Mitchell is looking to rebound from a knockout loss to Beibut Shumenov in May that put a dent on his comeback attempt. The soon to be 36-year old Mitchell wants to get his career back on track and looks forward to competing for a world title again. Fightnews caught up with Mitchell this weekend and spoke to him about the Telesco fight and future plans.

You had two nice wins in your comeback, why take the fight against Shumenov on late notice?

The fight against Shumenov was a risk, but a risk a guy like myself has to take. This guy was ranked in the top 10 with the WBA and only had 9 fights! I wanted to take a fast track into the rating and it backfired. I really feel that if I had the time to train properly and didn’t have to take a 27-hour flight and fight the same night things would have been different. I hope Shumenov beats Campillo in their rematch and maybe he would consider giving me a rematch under fairer terms.

This fight is being called “Do or Die” or a “crossroads” fight. Is that how you view it?

The loser of this fight has a big decision to make regarding their career. I respect Telesco, but I am not worried about losing this fight, I feel in my heart that he can’t beat me. This fight will be a springboard for me going into 2010.

What will it take to defeat Telesco?

There were a number of things that I saw while watching film on him that I know I can capitalize on, but I would rather not get into any game plans since he is also preparing to fight me as well, I wouldn’t want to give him any advantages.

This is your fourth fight under X-Cel Worldwide in less than a year, the busiest you have been in that span in over 10 years. Are you enjoying the pace?

Yes, I feel the only way to get back to my peak condition is staying active. I want to thank Nick Garone and X-Cel for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to stay busy. In this economy many fighters are struggling to get fights, Nick has put me in position to get that one last chance at a world title by keeping me in the ring.

If you defeat Telesco, are you looking for a fighter in the top 10? And if so who?

Yes, I obviously would like the opportunity to face anyone in the top ten in the world or any of the champions. I think in 2010 I will get a chance to fight in a meaningful fight, I know Nick Garone has contacted other promoters about that and hopefully somebody will be interested in making a fight. There is one guy specifically that I have tried to get in the ring, but he will not fight me. Joey Spina is ranked in all the world ratings and I would love to fight him for a regional title or just a 10 rounder. I don’t think he would fight me because he knows he’ll end up on his back counting the lights if he fights me. I don’t blame him for being scared, I just wish he wouldn’t call himself a professional fighter, because professional fighters fight, they don’t protect their records. I’m formally calling him out!!

If you should happen to be at the short end of this fight will we see Byron Mitchell in the ring again?

If I lose this fight I will have to do some serious soul searching and discuss everything with my team, but I really can’t see myself losing to Telesco, so it is hard for me to answer that question.

Anything you would like to say or a message you want out?

I would like for everyone to wish me luck and look out for me in 2010. I would also like for the ratings committees to consider me in their rankings so I can be considered for a title shot. I think my credentials speak for themselves!

* * *

The fight will be the main event of six bouts at “Rumble at the Hilton Rye Town” 2 promoted by Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing. Location: Hilton Rye Town Hotel, 699 Westchester Ave. Rye Brook, NY. Tickets: 718.823.2000 $100, $60, $40 Doors open at 6:30 PM.

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