Former world champion Sharmba Mitchell is still loved as a "local boy who did good." At a recent press conference to announce Floyd Mayweather's next fight, Mitchell was everywhere, taking pictures and signing autographs. He was even introduced to the crowd by DC's own Leonard Ellerbe as a former champ. Many in the crowd remembered Mitchell and gave him a nice ovation as he walked across the stage a DAR Constitution Hall.
Mitchell is a part of something that has never happened before in pro boxing. He, along with Mark Johnson, William Jobby and Keith Holmes held their championship belts at the same time. "What is weird is that no other state in this country ever had 5 world champions at the same time. People don't know that Winky Wright is from DC, born and raised." Johnson was later voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, joining Sugar Ray Leonard as another DC boxer inducted. DC boxing fans will remind people that Simon Brown and Maurice Blocker held title belts in and around that same time.
Young DC fighters would naturally look up to the great Ray Leonard and Mitchell was no different. "I loved Ray. Ray was my man. I loved his style. I took a lot of his style in the way I used to fight." Mitchell loved being world champion. "The highlight of my career is being world champion. Being world champion, you kind of rule the world and to do it 2 times was great. To do it once is monumental to anyone, but twice in a lifetime is something else", recalls Mitchell. Mitchell fought all comers in his day. He even fought a young Floyd Mayweather in a non title fight. He held the NABF title in 1993 and 1994, the WBA Jr. Welterweight title from '98 to 2001 and the IBF Jr. Welterweight title in 2004. Mitchell had an impressive record of 57 wins and only 6 defeats with 30 KO's in an accomplished professional boxing career. In retirement, Sharmba has been awarded the Washington, DC Lifetime Achievement Award and he was inducted into the State of Maryland Sports Hall of Fame. Please subscribe and keep up with DC's finest fighters past and present.