Unbeaten heavyweight LaRon Mitchell (15-0, 13 KOs) wrapped up his training camp in preparation for the first title defense of his career against Michael Bissett (14-9, 8 KOs) this Friday, Aug. 25, from Omega Products International in Corona, Calif.
The San Francisco-based Mitchell will defend his Jr. NABF heavyweight title in the 8-round “Path to Glory” main event.
Thompson Boxing caught up with Mitchell and asked him about what kind of challenge Bissett may pose, the pressures of defending a title, and the difficulties between managing two careers – one in boxing and the other as an educator.
On Friday night, you’ll be defending your Jr. NABF Heavyweight Title for the first time. How do you keep your emotions in check for what will likely be a very tough fight?
“Everything that I’ve accomplished up to this point is going to help me get a win on Friday. I’ve been in high pressure fights before so this isn’t anything new. I’m really good at just living in the moment and not worrying about any outside noise.”
As a heavyweight, you don’t face the same diet restrictions associated with making a particular weight. Heavyweights, however, do have a target weight that they’d like to hit. How did that process go for this fight?
“I actually had to put on some weight during training camp. I hit the cardio harder than usual, which caused me to drop down in weight. I was able to put it back on gradually. I’ll be good for Friday night.
How did you prepare for Michael Bissett?
“I worked on being involved in a scrappy, nasty fight. Bissett doesn’t mind being in that kind of a fight. He likes to set a lot of traps. He doesn’t have a problem with holding and making you uncomfortable. He’s a blue-collar type of fighter.”
When you’re not training for a fight, people can find you teaching physical education at St. Elizabeth’s (K-8) in Oakland, Calif. For this fight against Bissett, you had the convenience of being on summer vacation. How did that help you in your training?
“It’s beautiful because I’m able to get in third workouts whenever I want. It’s almost impossible for me to get in a third workout when school is in session. Also, mentally I don’t have to worry about anything else but what I’m doing in the ring.”
What do you want to see from yourself on Friday night from Omega Products International in Corona, Calif.
“Just continue to get better in every aspect. I want to see better speed and accuracy. I’ve worked really hard on punch placement and angles. On defense, I can’t let him get inside and land the compact body shots.”