NEW YORK -- Seth Mitchell, badly hurt and nearly knocked out in the third round, overcame the rough moments against Johnathon Banks to win a unanimous decision Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The fight, the co-feature on the card headlined by Paulie Malignaggi's welterweight title defense against lightweight titleholder Adrien Broner, promised action but delivered it only in brief spurts, causing the crowd to boo often in what was an overall dreadful fight.
But for Mitchell, he'll take it. All he wanted was a victory and revenge for the knockout loss he suffered against Banks in his previous fight.
When they met Nov. 17 in Atlantic City, N.J., Mitchell was the big favorite. He was seen as the fastest-rising American contender -- until Banks shattered that aura by dropping him three times in the second round for the knockout victory.
Armed with a rematch clause, Mitchell opted to try to avenge the loss immediately, although the fight was delayed when Banks broke his thumb sparring and the rematch was postponed from February.
Mitchell (26-1-1, 19 KOs), 31, of Brandywine, Md., a former Michigan State linebacker, went into Saturday's fight with a heavy heart. Two weeks ago, his wife delivered a stillborn son, but Mitchell was determined to go through with the fight. He got the job done, although nobody will remember a thing about the bout. The judges had it 117-109, 115-112 and 114-112 for Mitchell. ESPN.com had it 117-110 for Mitchell.
In the second round, Mitchell was the one doing the knocking down this time. He dropped Banks with a right uppercut, although the follow-up left behind the head was of assistance, but referee Michael Ortega didn't notice it.
Banks came back strong in the third round, punishing Mitchell with several hard right hands that had Mitchell hurt, wobbly and holding on for dear life.
"He hurt me in the third round but I recovered," Mitchell said.
Detroit's Banks, with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko -- his promoter and the man he trains -- cheering him on at ringside, did almost nothing from the fifth through the seventh rounds. When he finally started to throw punches again, he wobbled Mitchell, whose right eye was swelling, in the eighth round, but it was only a brief outburst.
"He weathered the storm better this time than last time," Banks said. "I gave it all I could. I did as much as I could. I'd like to fight him again before [I] fight anyone else."
Banks (30-1-1, 19 KOs), who turned 31 on Saturday, landed just 90 of 261 punches (34 percent) in the fight, according to CompuBox, and 50 of them came in the third, fourth and eighth rounds combined.
Mitchell was more active, but whenever Banks did land anything, he seemed to hurt Mitchell, whose chin is poor. Mitchell landed even fewer punches than Banks, just 84 of 417 (20 percent).
"I felt confident that I won," Mitchell said. "Banks was looking to counter punch only. I had to stick to my plan and be smart and be disciplined. I felt I easily won eight of the 12 rounds."
Bika edges Periban for super middleweight belt
Sakio Bika, in his fourth shot at a super middleweight world title, finally got the job done, edging Marco Antonio Periban to win a majority decision -- 116-112, 115-113, 114-114 -- in a brutal slugfest.
Bika, 34, a native of Cameroon living in Australia, had three times failed in an attempt to win a 168-pound belt.
He fought to a four-round technical draw with Markus Beyer in 2006, lost a decision to Joe Calzaghe in 2008 and was routed by Andre Ward in 2010. He also lost an eliminator to Lucian Bute, who went on to win a title, in 2007. In 2008, Bika gained notoriety for winning the "Contender" reality series.
Bika got another title shot because in February, on another Broner undercard, he outpointed the unknown Nikola Sjekloca in a title eliminator.
He made the most of it against Periban, 28, who was bidding to become the first super middleweight titlist from Mexico.
"I expected the fight to go the distance. He was very tough," Bika said. "It was a great fight, and I gave my heart and soul. I feel good. I worked hard and I was dedicated to the fight. Now I want to fight the best. I'd fight Andre Ward [again]. I'd fight anyone."
It was a very physical fight, but it became even more physical in the eighth round. They clashed heads, and Periban wound up with a cut on his scalp. And in the final seconds, both men landed huge shots. It continued in the ninth round, with the crowd rising to its feet as Bika and Periban brawled toe to toe and exchanged brutal shots. The final three rounds were more of the same in what was just a brutal slugfest. But Bika (32-5-2, 21 KOs) was a bit quicker and landed the cleaner shots to claim the belt that had been unceremoniously stripped from Ward, the lineal world champion.
Periban (20-1, 13 KOs) thought he deserved the decision.
"I know I won the fight," he said. "It was a very powerful fight. I fought better than him. His style is so dirty. He kept hitting me in the back of the head. I think I hurt him in the last round but I couldn't finish him."
• Junior middleweight Julian Williams (12-0-1, 7 KOs) of Philadelphia scored three knockdowns in a unanimous eight-round decision against former titleholder Joachim Alcine (33-5-1, 19 KOs) of Quebec. All three judges had it 77-72.
Williams nearly knocked out Alcine in the first round, landing a sustained flurry of shots that badly hurt Alcine, who nonetheless survived. In the fourth round, Williams could have been disqualified when he landed a big left hook on the break and Alcine went down. But referee Steve Willis did not penalize Williams, who did score a legitimate knockdown later in the round under a hail of shots. Alcine, now 1-4-1 in his past six fights (including three by knockout), went down again on a massive left hook in the fifth round and took a beating, but Willis allowed the fight to continue.
As hurt as he had been, Alcine had some good moments later in the fight, connecting with several flush shots, but Williams stood his ground.
• Cincinnati bantamweight Rau'Shee Warren (13-0, 3 KOs), a three-time U.S. Olympian, blew out Puerto Rico's overmatched Jovany Fuentes (5-2, 4 KOs), dropping him three times in a second-round knockout. Warren dropped him twice in the first round and then again in the second round, after which Fuentes' corner threw in the towel at 1 minute, 4 seconds.
• Light heavyweight Marcus Browne (5-0, 5 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Staten Island, blew through Mexico's Ricardo Campillo (7-7-1, 5 KOs) in dominant fashion, stopping him at 1 minute of the second round.
The 22-year-old Browne, a southpaw, was fast and explosive. He dropped Campillo in the first round with a clean, straight left hand to the chin and was never challenged. In the second round, Browne, who gained valuable experience in recent months sparring with former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, clobbered Campillo with a brutal four-punch combination -- left, right, left, right -- to knock him down hard. Campillo beat the count and referee Earl Brown was going to allow the fight to continue, but Campillo's corner threw in the towel.
• Brooklyn junior featherweight Juan Dominguez (15-0, 11 KOs) needed only 96 seconds to dust Bradley Patraw (9-6, 5 KOs) of St. Paul, Minn. Dominguez landed one big shot, a leaping left hook. Patraw -- who had popular action fighter Jason Litzau as part of his corner -- crumpled flat on his back, and referee Ricky Gonzalez stopped the fight.
• Brooklyn junior middleweight Frank Galarza (10-0-2, 6 KOs) rolled to a lopsided fourth-round knockout of Romon Barber (4-5, 3 KOs) of Wichita, Kan., in their scheduled six-rounder. Galarza battered Barber, swelling his eye badly and pounding him until the fight was called off at 1 minute, 54 seconds of the fourth round.
• Toledo, Ohio, lightweight Robert Easter (5-0, 5 KOs) laid a beating on tough Antoine Knight (2-4, 1 KO) of Merrillville, Tenn., before stopping him at 1 minute, 46 seconds of third round. Easter, who towered over the shorter Knight, dropped Knight in the first round, hurt him with body shots and was on the verge of a knockout when he hammered with a series of head shots just before the bell ended the round. He kept up the abuse in the second and third rounds before referee Steve Willis had seen enough and called off the fight.
• In the opening fight of the night, lightweight Jamel Herring (3-0, 2 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Coram, N.Y., took a unanimous four-round decision against Calvin Smith (2-3, 0 KOs), of Prichard, Ala. It was a spirited fight, but it was all Herring, who won by shutout, 40-36, 40-36 and 40-35.