Titles: WBA jr. lightweight champion 1986-1991, IBF jr lightweight champion 1991 Record: 45-1-3 Born: August 30, 1961 in Johannesburg, South Africa Years active: 1981-1995 Nickname: None This might be a bit politically incorrect but I think the best way to describe Brian Mitchell is as the white Azumah Nelson. Mitchell like Nelson had to travel the world to face champions and challengers on their home soil. Azumah did it for economic reason while Mitchell was driven overseas by a ban of the IBF, WBC and WBA of South Africa for it's apartheid policy of race separation. Mitchell was a opponent of apartheid and publicly spoke out against it and fought the majority of his early fights against black men. He even gained fan support in the black townships for his willingness to fight there. Yet Brian still had to fight outside of his native South Africa if a world title was at stake. When asked about the WBA and WBC not allowing him to fight at home he simply stated "I'm not a politician, I'm a sportsman. You can not choose your birthplace." Mitchell did not possess one singularly great asset as a boxer but did everything well, if there was one aspect to him that made him great it was his ability to choose he right punch at the right moment. His handspeed and power was average, but his accuracy and willingness to take shots in order to deliver body punishment set him apart. And just maybe above all he could not afford to loose as his skills and unfortunate birth place would give any champion a excuse for not fighting Mitchell. Mitchell fought the world over in defense of his crown in places like Italy, Spain, England, France, Panama, Puerto Rico and America. In all cases he was the enemy and endured much (especially from protestors out of the ring) to retain his title. After winning the title from Alfredo Layne he would go on to defend his WBA super featherweight title 12 times in 5 years before giving it up to defend his IBF title for more money and a sense revenge. Mitchell began his career in 1981 wining his first 5 fights in and around Johannesburg. In his second year as a pro Mitchell would suffer the only defeat of his career as he took on the more experienced Jacob Morake for the Transvaal title. It had only been 9 months since he had turned pro and he was probably thrown into the 10 round event too soon. Not a man to leave a job unfinished Mitchell avenged that lone loss on his record twice via 12 round decisions. Over the next five years Mitchell would take on the best boxers of all colors from South Africa, winning and retaining the South African super featherweight title 8 times while averaging 5 fights a year in that 4 year span. It was a great proving ground as Mitchell learned in preparations for the world title shot to come. That opportunity came in September of 1986 against the streaking Alfredo Layne who had just knocked out the legendary Wilfredo Gomez. The title fight would take place in the neighboring country of Bophutaswana (two weeks later South Africa was punished by world bodies for its racial policies) and Brian took advantage by dominating the bout after a rocky beginning to the fight for him. Mitchell overcame the slow start and halted the outclassed Layne in 10 rounds. The first title defense for Mitchell was not a glorious one as Mitchell fought 12 hard rounds in Puerto Rico against Jose Rivera, but most observers think Mitchell had done enough to earn a draw at the very least in the Puerto Rican's home turf. Now Mitchell would begin his world tour defeating Panamanian Rocky Fernandez in Panama, Frenchman Daniel Londas in France, Italian Salvatore Curcetti in Italy before beating Rivera in a return fight via impressive 12 round decision in Madrid. 2 more wins over nationals in England and Italy set up Mitchell for a run at the American shores. Any doubts of the skills of Mitchell by the American fight fraternity were put to rest when Mitchell defeated 4 American contenders, Jackie Beard (twice), Irving Mitchell and Frankie Mitchell. By now Mitchell had pretty much become the undisputed super featherweight champion with wins over most of the quality challengers available while returning home to fight non-title bouts. His wins in America set up a lucrative fight with IBF title holder Tony Lopez. The first fight with Tony "The Tiger" Lopez was a fantastic contest fought in front of 10,000 partisan Lopez fans. Not only was it a great offensive treat but during portions of the bout each man showed very good defensive abilities to see them through needed rests. It seemed as if each round was a fight of its own as the fight swayed in the favor of one boxer to the other. Some think Mitchell had pulled the fight out in the later rounds, but the judges scored the fight a draw which given the pace of the fight is hard to argue with. One judge awarded the fight to Lopez, the other to Mitchell with the third scoring the bout a draw. The only sad part of the fight was that it was only aired overseas and not seen in the USA! The fight screamed for a rematch which came in March of the same year. Mitchell was still outraged by the scoring of the first fight and gave up his WBA belt to fight Lopez a second time. The fight was once again held in Lopez' hometown, but this time the results would not be hard to score. It was a lopsided win for Mitchell as he countered the often off balance and inaccurate Lopez at will, Lopez was game and fortunate to finish the fight on his feet. All three judges scored the return match for Mitchell by wide margins. After beating Lopez, Mitchell surprisingly announced his retirement. Of course no boxer really retires and after two years of the training boxers Mitchell returned to boxing. Unlike most comebacks this one did not end with a loss. Mitchell fought once a year in 1994 and 1995 against moderate boxers and won both fights with little trouble. With no title shot in the near future Mitchell decided to retire again...... this time for good. Now Mitchell is a top trainer in South Africa looking after the young prospects of the highest profile national promoter.
1981 Aug 15 Josef Mosoane Johannesburg W 4 Sep 19 Bushy Mosoeu Johannesburg W 4 Oct 3 Tandi Mayisela Johannesburg W 4 Oct 31 Simon Zondo Johannesburg KO 4 Nov 30 Mose Mthiayane Durban, South Africa KO 4 1982 Feb 6 Phanuel Mosoane Johannesburg KO 2 May 1 Jacob Morake Springs, South Africa L 10 May 17 Joseph Tstotetsi Johannesburg W 6 Jun 26 Moses Sithebe Orkney, South Africa KO 3 Jul 30 Frank Khonkhobe Sebokeng, South Africa D 6 Oct 15 Frank Khonkhobe Diepkloof, South Africa W 10 1983 Mar 14 Jerome Gumede Durban, South Africa W 8 Apr 9 Chris Whiteboy Orkney, South Africa KO 9 (Wins South African Jr. Lightweight Title) May 2 Bashew Sibaca Durban, South Africa W 10 Jun 27 Graham Gcola Johannesburg KO 2 (Retains South African Jr. Lightweight Title) Aug 6 Jacob Morake Johannesburg W 12 (Retains South African Jr. Lightweight Title) Nov 21 Frank Khonkhobe Johannesburg W 12 (Retains South African Jr. Lightweight Title) Dec 19 Blessing Ndlele Durban, South Africa KO 1 1984 Mar 2 Jacob Morake Springs, South Africa W 12 (Retains South African Jr. Lightweight Title) Mar 31 Carlos Miguel Rodriguez Johannesburg KO 4 Apr 16 Iland Matthews Welkom, South Africa W 6 Aug 2 Nika Khumalo Cape Town, South Africa KO 2 (Retains South African Jr. Lightweight Title) Dec 1 Aladin Stevens Sun City, Bophtswana W 8 1985 Feb 11 Nyungi Mtiya Boksburg, South Africa KO 3 Mar 30 Carlos Rodriguez Sun City, Bophtswana KO 7 Apr 27 Vicente Jorge Johannesburg KO 7 Jul 27 Job Sisanga Sun City, Bophtswana W 8 Nov 2 Jacob Morakey Sun City, Bophtswana KO 12 (Retains South African Jr. Lightweight Title) 1986 Mar 1 Julio Ruiz Sun City, Bophtswana KO 6 Jun 14 Bushy Mosoeu Sun City, Bophtswana W 12 (Retains South African Jr. Lightweight) Sep 27 Alfredo Layne Sun City, Bophtswana KO 10 (Wins WBA and World Jr. Lightweight Titles) 1987 Mar 27 Jose Rivera San Juan W 15 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) May 16 Aurelio Benitez Sun City, Bophtswana KO 2 Jul 31 Francisco Fernandez Panama City KO 14 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) Oct 3 Daniel Londas Gravelines, France W 15 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) Dec 19 Salvatore Curcetti Capo d'Orlando, Italy KO 9 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) 1988 Apr 26 Jose Rivera Madrid W 12 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) Jun 4 Danilo Cabrera Johannesburg W 10 Nov 2 Jim McDonnell London W 12 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) 1989 Feb 11 Salvatore Bottiglieri Capo d'Orlando, Italy KO 8 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) Jul 2 Jackie Beard Crotone, Italy TW 9 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) Sep 28 Irving Mitchell Lewiston, ME KO 7 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) Nov 11 Felipe Orozco Sun City, Bophtswana W 10 1990 Mar 15 Jackie Beard Grosseto, Italy W 12 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) Sep 29 Frank Mitchell Aosta, Italy W 12 (Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) 1991 Mar 15 Tony Lopez Sacramento, CA D 12 (For IBF, Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) Stripped By WBA Sep 13 Tony Lopez Sacramento, CA W 12 (Wins IBF, Retains World Jr. Lightweight Title) 1992-1993 Inactive 1994 Nov 26 Mike Evgen South Africa KO 6 1995 Apr 1 Silverio Flores Sun City, Bophtswana W 10