|Real name||Myron Herbert Mitchell|
|Rated at||light welterweight|
January 1, 1899|
|Died||March 11, 1976(aged 77)|
|Wins by KO||10|
Pinky Mitchell was an American boxer who was the first champion in the light welterweight division.
Born Myron Mitchell on January 1, 1899, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mitchell was nicknamed Pinky because of his father's statement, on seeing Mitchell in his crib as a baby, that "he's like a little pink rascal." He was a highly-praised amateur boxer, and during his amateur days, former lightweight champion Battling Nelson said he was the best-looking prospect he had seen.
Mitchell began boxing professionally in 1917. His brother, Richie Mitchell, was also a boxer. Their two styles were quite different, however. Richie was known for all-action bouts while Pinky, according to a later historian, "became a pariah in Milwaukee rings" due to his "lethargic performances" in boxing matches.
In 1922 Mike Collins, the publisher of a Minneapolis weekly newspaper, the Boxing Blade, created the light welterweight category and asked his readers to vote for the man they felt was the best fighter at 140 pounds. Mitchell won the balloting and was recognized on November 15, 1922, as the first light welterweight champion. The National Boxing Association (NBA) followed suit and recognized Mitchell as champion.
Mitchell defended his title at least six times. One of those defenses, a 1925 fight against James "Red" Herring, was mired in controversy. Herring won by disqualification and claimed the light welterweight championship. The Wisconsin Commission and the NBA both declined to recognize Herring as champion, however.
His defense against Mushy Callahan saw Mitchell lose his title in September 1926. After losing to Callahan, Mitchell never won another fight and retired in 1928.
After he retired, Mitchell twice ran for sheriff of Milwaukee County, losing both times.
He died on March 11, 1976.
References and notes
- Ehrmann, Pete (April 1998), "Pinky Mitchell: The Only Fighter to Win a Title at the Ballot Box", The Ring, 77, no. 4: 31
- Ehrmann, Pete (April 1998), "Pinky Mitchell: The Only Fighter to Win a Title at the Ballot Box", The Ring, 77, no. 4: 32
- Mullan, Harry (1987), The Great Book of Boxing, New York, New York: Crescent Books, p. 298, ISBN 0-7517-6295-4
- Ehrmann, Pete (April 1998), "Pinky Mitchell: The Only Fighter to Win a Title at the Ballot Box", The Ring, 77, no. 4: 33