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By Steve Kim
This Saturday night, in a Showtime-televised bout from the Glendale Arena in Phoenix, Ariz., Sharmba Mitchell gets his long-awaited rematch against Kostya Tszyu. And no matter what the sanctioning bodies might say, this is for the undisputed junior welterweight title of the world.
Mitchell, who lost to Tszyu in February of 2001 via seventh-round TKO, had to quit on his stool as his knee gave out that night in Las Vegas.
It was a fight that almost didn't take place at all.
"I had a knee surgery before that and it was my ACL," explained Mitchell, who currently holds the IBF interim title, before an afternoon workout in Van Nuys, Calif. "Then over the time period I got it better and then I fought for the world title. Then over the years it may have gotten aggravated or whatever and like three days before that fight, my leg just started going numb. I didn't know what was wrong.