The Man Behind the Rise of Spartan Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell: Sharif Salim!

Twelve years ago, Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell was recruited as one of the nation’s top linebackers by current football head coach
Mark Dantonio. But then a serious knee injury sidelined Mitchell, eventually ending his career after only one healthy season. After earning a degree in criminal
justice and returning home to his native Brandywine, Maryland, “Mayhem” discovered what he wanted to be: a boxer. Mitchell now stands at 25-0-1, with
19 KO’s and a promising future. One man who has helped the proud Spartan along the way is his manager, Sharif Salim.

Salim was introduced to Seth by an assistant coach, Maurice Banks, at Mitchell’s former high school. A former football player
himself, Salim was instantly impressed with Seth and decided to become Mitchell’s manager. Neither has looked back since. A twenty-one year veteran
boxing manager, Salim soon hired a well-respected trainer (Andre Hunter) and cut man (Chris Ray) for Mitchell. After only two professional matches, Mitchell
had a promoter, as Salim convinced Golden Boys Promotions to take on the young boxer. Since then Mitchell has compiled a stellar record as a heavyweight.

If Mitchell’s rise to the top is surprising, then the fact that he had absolutely no prior experience in boxing is more stunning. The
transition from a team-oriented sport to a team-less sport was particularly tough for Mitchell. But physically, Seth has had little trouble.

Salim recently joined Hondo and Spartan Nation Radio and talked about Mayhem and his rise from Spartan Nation hero to National
Heavyweight contender. Salim is not surprised that Mitchell has had no problems with the change: “Middle
linebackers, like fighters, have to have lateral movement. Like fighters, they have to be able to shift their weight, and project their strength… towards their
enemy,” Salim explained. “You have to be able to have that dog-nosed [mentality]. That’s what linebackers are like, that’s what fighters, what you
call heavyweights, are like. So this transformation, which is still in development, wasn’t that great. It wasn’t that hard of a learning curve because
he played defense, because he played middle linebacker.”

Salim enjoys working with someone like Mitchell. Salim finds it nice to work with someone with the same values as himself: “It’s
always better to work with someone who’s morally upright and spiritually well-grounded. And Seth is like that. He’s a man of great character. And with
that, he truly knows that he’s not the source: God almighty is the source,” the manager went on. “So he takes the good with the bad. He believes that
everything is happening to him is truly a gift. He’s getting a second chance here, whereas of course we all believe that he would have made it to the NFL.
With that, everything that is coming now is just pure gravy. He appreciates that and he respects that. He also has a deep, deep set of values that make it
an absolute joy to work with someone like that.”

Salim also finds it enjoyable to work with heavyweights, which is why three of the four pro fighters he
represents are heavyweights. He feels that crowds love the big men, and that the fans love the excitement the big boxers bring. “That’s what I like about
the heavyweights: the action that they bring. I’m talking about the heavyweights who have huge punch steps. I’m not talking about the ones who slow
dance and lay all on top of you every day. That’s not Seth Mitchell,” Mr. Salim stated. “The fact that he’s bringing that action, that’s why people are all
over him. They mobbed him this weekend in Las Vegas, literally mobbed him.”

Salim’s love of the huge punch step has found an outlet in Mitchell. The linebacker turned boxer has a killer power punch.
Announcers have quite rightly called his ability “major league punching power”. In a recent interview, Salim went so far as to say that - besides Tony Thompson
– Mitchell is one of the best American heavyweights now.

But Salim sees no rush to get the recent NABO (North American Boxing Association) belt holder into a title fight. The smart manager
wants “Mayhem” to fight a few more times. “In the words of a famous actor and playwright, Orson Wells, we try to sell no wine before it’s time. We just want
to take our time. We’re not in a hurry.” The 29 year old Mitchell is still a young heavyweight, as he does not have the wear and tear of an older fighter.
So what is Salim’s target date to take on one of the title-holding Klitschko brothers? “We’re looking at 2013, which is not that far away. So there’s no need to rush
it for 2012,” Salim elaborated. “He’s got a couple more fights, hopefully maybe get one of the big titles. And then we’ll fight for the unification of all the
belts and be absolute champion of the world.”

Sharif Salim has been critical in the rise of Mitchell. Without Salim, the former football player might not be where he is
today. Thanks in part to Salim, “Mayhem” has arrived. As Salim recently said: “I think that the world knows it now, that this guy is the real deal.”

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