By Jackie Kallen
The Broner-DeMarco card at Caesar’s Atlantic City was as exciting as anticipated. The highlight of the night was Jonathon Banks’s surprising upset KO of Seth Mitchell in the second round of their fight. It was heart-felt and unexpected. The crowd, mostly Mitchell fans, roared their approval afterwards, giving Banks his props.
Coming in as the under-dog, Banks has been struggling with the loss of his mentor and trainer Emanuel Steward. Just last weekend he was working the corner with Klitschko. Yet he rose to the occasion and made his support system at Detroit’s Kronk Gym proud and elated. He dug deep and pulled out a dazzling win in honor of Steward.
The first round was all Mitchell. It looked like Banks was going to have a long night ahead of him. He seemed tentative and wary. The Mitchell fans were smug and confident. The second round started and the tide turned. Big-time. Banks turned it on and became a monster. He took charge and started dominating his opponent. He dropped Mitchell three times before the ref–Eddie Cotton–waved it off at 2:37 of the second round. The crowd was stunned and Mitchell suffered his first loss.
Banks was jubilant after the fight. I got the chance to speak to him as he headed back to his locker room, his eyes wet with joyful tears. “This was for Emanuel,” he said with emotion. “If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. He taught me everything I know.”
This was not quite as big an upset as Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson, but it was stunning nevertheless. This win will be a learning experience for Mitchell and it will propel Banks higher up the ladder in the heavyweight division.
Mitchell took the loss like a gentleman and said afterwards, “I will be back. ” There is reportedly a rematch clause in their contract so he may get the chance to vindicate himself.
As for Broner/DeMarco, it went even smoother for Broner than I predicted. He had an easy time pounding the crap out of DeMarco. He hit him at will and shoved his upper-cut into DeMarco’s chin repeatedly. Between those and the body shots, DeMarco was little more than a target. Broner looked cocky and determined. He was never in trouble and actually seemed surprised that it was so simple to get the win.
To his credit, DeMarco hung in for almost eight rounds. He showed what a colossal chin he has as he took more punishment than he deserved. His heart was big and there was no quit in him. Thankfully the ref and his corner were smarter than him and called a halt to the massacre. He was out-gunned and out-muscled. I have no doubt that he will feel the effects for the next few days.
Two fighters must now re-examine their careers and see what the next step is. Mitchell will no doubt regroup and focus on a rematch. As for DeMarco, there are still plenty of good fights out there for him. He is a total gentleman and a good fighter. He has many fans who will still support him and pay to see him fight.
As for Broner and Banks–the future is bright. Especially for Broner who is like a Floyd Mayweather clone. He is fast becoming one of the sport’s pound-for-pound best and has some major pay-days ahead. Hard to imagine what lightweight could beat him.
Banks is no doubt savoring his victory and planning ahead to see which of the Top 10 heavyweights would be a good fight for him. Other than the Klitschkos of course.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen