Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Sharmba Mitchell

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2005-11-19 : Floyd Mayweather Jr 147 lbs beat Sharmba Mitchell 145¼ lbs by TKO at 2:06 in round 6 of 12

Mayweather knocks out Mitchell in sixth round
Associated Press, November 20, 2005

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. wasn't slowed by seven extra pounds.

Displaying the hand speed and superior defense that are his trademarks, Mayweather rolled to a decisive victory in his welterweight debut Saturday night, stopping Sharmba Mitchell in the sixth round at the Rose Garden.

Mayweather, a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., ended the non-title bout with a straight right hand that landed below Mitchell's rib cage. Referee Richard Steele counted to nine before waving and stopping the fight with Mitchell sitting on the ropes in pain.

Mitchell seemed to complain that the punch was low, but replays showed it was above the belt. After the fight, Mitchell said he actually complained that the fight was stopped.

With the win, Mayweather confirmed his claim to be the best fighter in any weight class, the so-called pound-for-pound champion. Most observers agreed with him after he demolished Arturo Gatti earlier this year.

"I was a little anxious," Mayweather said. "I wanted to outperform the Gatti performance -- that's a flawless performance. It's hard to beat that."

Undefeated in 35 fights, Mayweather, who has won belts at three lower weight classes, was in control from the start, landing straight right hands with ease. He absorbed little punishment from the 35-year-old Mitchell, a former 140-pound champion who was making his second appearance as a welterweight.

Mayweather won every round of the judges' scorecards, landing 85 punches to Mitchell's 31. Sixty-five of his punches were power shots. The knockout was the 24th of his career.

"They say I can't punch," Mayweather said. "But 24 out of 35 -- I must getting them out of there."

Mitchell was active in the first round, but the southpaw's jab couldn't penetrate Mayweather's defense. Toward the end of the round, Mayweather combined a hard right with a left hook that had Mitchell grasping for his opponent's waist.

Mayweather used a straight right to send Mitchell sprawling to the canvas in the third. He kept the pressure on in the fourth, teeing off on Mitchell, who late in the round had his elbows pressed to his ribs and his hands in front of his face to block a flurry of blows.

Mayweather, the WBC champion at 140 pounds, said he decided to fight Mitchell after potential bouts with a host of bigger-name fighters couldn't be negotiated. The WBC 140-pound champion could return to that weight to face IBF champion Ricky Hatton, or he could stay at 147 and challenge welterweight champion Zab Judah. He could also press for lucrative fights against former champions Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley.

He said he'd even go up to 154 to face Winky Wright.

"It don't really matter. You can go to any weight class if you've got skills."

Mitchell fell to 56-5. All of his losses have come to fighters who were or were to become champions. Knocked out in two of his last three matches, this might have been Mitchell's last major fight. Kostya Tszyu dispatched him in the third round last November.

Mitchell connected on only seven of his 144 jabs, and his shifty movement couldn't keep him from Mayweather's power. He said he plans to keep fighting.

"I want to get to 60 wins, that's four more," he said. [1]