This Saturday on HBO, broadcast live from Portland, Oregon, Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather, boxing’s Mr. Pound-for-Pound, gets it on with the skilled but less than scintillating Shamba Mitchell. It’s hard to imagine Mitchell has what it takes to slow the Mayweather juggernaut down, but this is boxing, the most unpredictable of sports, so anything can happen, if we’re lucky. Will Floyd continue to razzle-dazzle us with his virtuoso skills? Or does Mitchell pull a rabbit out of a hat, defy the odds and common wisdom, and score a W Saturday night? This is how The Sweet Science writers see it.
I think Floyd is the most skilled fighter in the sport today. Mitchell – as much as I like his name – is somewhat faded and should be damaged goods after getting blasted by Kostya. I didn't see the fight, but I heard Chris Smith was getting ready to take control of their fight before it was stopped in June because of a butt. Floyd is in the prime of his career and should beat Mitchell handily if he boxes him. The only scenario where I could see Mitchell winning is if Floyd gets stupid and tries to slug with Mitchell, who has decent, not great, power and ends up catching Floyd with a punch he didn't see. In terms of styles, Floyd is a younger, slicker version of Mitchell and should use this fight to make yet another statement against what I consider a 'B' level fighter that he is the best fighter in boxing. Mayweather TKO 8.
A who-cares fight in a who-cares latter part of 2005. Mayweather will prove nothing in his dismantling of the old and boring Mitchell. That “Pretty Boy” is fighting at 147 pounds would be significant – if Mitchell was himself a welterweight. He's not. And so we have a great lightweight in a fight with an underachieving, old junior welterweight, in a weight class that suits neither of them. And Mayweather wonders why he's not a star.
Mayweather by 6th-round TKO.
Mayweather by 7th-round TKO.
Bobby Cassidy Sr.
(To hear Cassidy's analysis of the fight, visit the TSS blog and listen to Cassidy and Cassidy on Boxing Channel Radio)
I like Mayweather by 8th-round TKO. I think he will overwhelm Mitchell with speed and combinations. He has too much talent for Mitchell to handle at this stage of his career.
Bobby Cassidy Jr.
Despite moving up a weight class and fighting a southpaw, Mayweather will still have the speed and power to beat a game Mitchell. I see him stopping Sharmba by the seventh round.
There's no question that Sharmba Mitchell is a world class fighter. However, “Pretty Boy” is more than a world-class fighter … he's probably the best world-class fighter out there. Sharmba is going to quickly find out that anything he can do, “Pretty Boy” can do better. This one'll be target practice for Mayweather until the end comes around the seventh round.
here's no way a 35-year-old with knockout losses on his record can beat the greatest fighter of this generation. This will be a systematic, lopsided affair until the referee mercifully stops it – unless Mayweather breaks his hands, which is possible. Floyd Mayweather, TKO 8.
Floyd Mayweather is an elite fighter at the peak of his abilities. His hand speed is as good or better than anyone's in the game. He also punches with authority (despite critics' claims about his so-called lack of power), can throw every punch in the book with precision, and has a rock solid chin. However, what sets him apart is his thorough knowledge of the game combined with the physical equipment and conditioning to execute the toughest of fight plans. Sharmba Mitchell is an outstanding fighter in his own right. Blessed with tremendous hand speed and an ability to pull punchers out of position, he has found a way to win 56 out of 60 fights and capture a belt along the way. He's no pushover. What he does not have, however, is solid power. He has never stopped a top fighter. Indeed in winning and defending his WBA junior welterweight belt four times he went the distance each time. A fighter who can not hurt “Pretty Boy” Floyd cannot beat him. It's just that simple. Don't look for Mitchell to lay down; that's not his character. He will give it his all but it won't be enough. Mayweather by KO in 10.
Sharmba Mitchell will be another casualty on Floyd Jr.'s way to, hopefully, Ricky Hatton.
Many in boxing are scratching their heads as to why this fight was made. The cynics have one version, the rationalists another. One wonders as well: does Floyd Mayweather understand the laughter going on behind his back in taking on this fraudulent matchup with a fighter – in Mitchell – who is clearly not even in the same area code as Mayweather? If this is all about giving a former world-class fighter one more big payday, it still doesn't make sense. Shame on the great Mayweather for putting his fans through this glorified sparring session … Prediction: Mayweather any time he wants to!
I'm not exactly sure why this fight is happening, but it is and HBO is bringing us another chance to see the best P4P fighter in the world, so I'll be watching nonetheless. Floyd Mayweather makes his 147-pound debut in a non-title affair after three fights and two KO victories at 140. Mayweather is as fast as they come and with an aging, slower Sharmba Mitchell across this ring, this fight could end anyway Mayweather wants it to. While it is a welterweight bout in terms of weight, neither fighter is a true welter. Mitchell has just one fight at welter as he won a TD5 over Chris Smith and was ahead on the cards when it was stopped. Still, he was blown out by Tszyu prior to the Smith bout and Mayweather is just too good for him no matter what weight class they go at it. Not ready to make a call as to how Floyd wins as he has had hand problems in the past and Mitchell has had a funky wheel. Mayweather's motivation may also be a concern as this is a non-title bout and it's not as if there is any bad blood between the two. Still, Mayweather gets to kill four birds with one stone – a decent payday, more public exposure on HBO, he gets a feel for welterweight, and faces a skilled southpaw (you can never have too much experience fighting lefties). If Floyd is motivated, feels strong at 147 and his hand holds up he will win by stoppage; if not, it could be a boring decision win.
This fight is only going to last as long as Mayweather wants to toy with Mitchell. Mayweather is too strong, too fast and most importantly, too talented for Sharmba Mitchell. If this fight goes past five I'll be surprised. Mayweather TKO round 5.
After the way Mayweather looked against Gatti, and the way Mitchell looked against Tszyu, this should be a walkover for Pretty Boy. Mitchell doesn't have the firepower to command any respect from Mayweather and, unless Mayweather took him completely lightly, he should stop Mitchell in the middle rounds. Mayweather TKO 6.
In his last outing against Arturo Gatti, Pretty Boy Floyd showed that he is definitely on top of his game and his pound-for-pound title is well deserved. Mitchell has been stopped in each of his four losses, and number five will be no different – Mayweather by late stoppage.
Jonathan M. Morgan
This fight bemuses me. Mitchell is a tired fighter, who grew old on the vine waiting for Kostya Tszyu to return, and then got “owned.” At Mitchell's age, he should be donning the overalls provided for gatekeepers, not basking in the spotlight on center stage. Mitchell is no bum, his record is excellent and he's got tools, but if Mayweather really is the P4P number one fighter in the world. This, in reality, is a mismatch and as such meaningless. Mayweather does little for his reputation with this fight, it’s a safe pick. And if safe picks are good enough for Floyd their good enough for me. Mayweather TKO9.
Normally, I would be coming up with all the catchy clichés. “A boxer can move up in weight class but not bring his punch with him.” “Putting on a little extra weight will cause the fighter to lose a half a step.” Those bread and butter statements will not ring true for Floyd Mayweather when he makes his fourth jump in weight class to welterweight this Saturday. The only problem is that his opponent, Sharmba Mitchell, is doing the same thing. While Mitchell is likable, he is not in the same class as “Pretty Boy” Floyd at any weight whatsoever. The fact that Mayweather is making this jump is interesting, but Saturday’s fight will prove nothing. Mayweather by TKO.
This is one of those contests that has to be considered a virtual “lock” for Mayweather unless something unusual occurs. The only real intrigue concerns whether or not Mitchell can go the distance. Mayweather is treading water until bigger fish float in, while Mitchell is trying to keep his head above the waves of top contenders career-wise. Our over/under line is eight rounds. Mayweather doesn't have any grudge issues here, so unless Mitchell manages to force Mayweather's hand he'll be allowed to stick around through twelve.