Junior Witter: Where is he?

By James Lovett - Following Juan Urango's potential move to 147lbs (see my other article), another possible comeback opponent for Junior Witter fades away. Witter has been inactive since November 2008, beating Victor Hugo Castro by 3rd round KO after a demoralising points loss to Timothy Bradley in May 2008..

At 35, Bradford-born Englishman Witter cannot be too downhearted about his loss. He needs to fight reguarly and work his way back up a beatable division. Witter also needs for forget Ricky Hatton, he can make a name for himself without Hatton if he has the patience and discipline needed.

I don't doubt Witter's ability to do this. A fast, switch-hitting boxer who can cause problems for anyone on his day, Witter needs to showcase these abilities in the United States on undercards. In my opinion he should forget England now, his popularity at best was always split, the purists admiring his talent with others resenting his ambition for calling out Hatton, which I believe is unfair.

Witter has flirted with the United States in the past, where his fight with Demitrius Hopkins fell through. He also was due to fight Gianluca Branco in Italy this March which failed to materialize. That fight would have been a good starter, and good pay. He also looked good beating Lovemore N'Dou in Los Angeles, United States in 2005 but has failed to fight there since. In my opinion, this was a missed opportunity. Why didn't he base himself there after the victory? Demand to fight there. Leave your promoter if neccessary, win or lose, better paydays and better opponents than Colin Lynes two fights later and Arturo Moura four fights later would have emerged. This isn't a critisism of those fighters he faced, they earnt their right to fight Witter, but he could of moved himself on to elite level rather than fringe world-class level.

I even wonder why he didn't fight DeMarcus Corley in America if he was so confident of victory. He was a name, it would of increased his exposure. Even fighting Timothy Bradley in America would of helped his credibility more than losing in Nottingham, England. His record would still be the same.

Despite this, in my opinion, Witter could aim to fight as on the Carl Froch-Jermain Taylor undercard in Connecticut on April 25th as they are both promoted by Mick Hennessey. A comeback fight against a durable fighter, with American exposure, an underrated record and a free schedule such as Juan Lazcano, Edner Cherry or Henry Bruseles could take place. A victory here would springboard him to further fights in the United States such as Paul Malignaggi or Zab Judah at Madison Square Garden, New York, Victor Ortiz, Nate Cmpbell, Kendall Holt or a domestic battle vs Ajose Olusegun or Paul McCloskey.

The future could be bright for Junior Witter if he wants it, he just needs to stay active, keep recording the victories, learn from his mistakes and I have no doubts he could win a world title again.

I for one hope he can. Without Hatton and Witter the English light-welterweight scene may take years to develop again, so we must keep faith with Witter. McCloskey and Olusegun may change this, I am behind them all the way. A showdown with Witter may be the opening for one of these two fighters, who I believe should take the same route. Victory would lead to new pathways and new exposure. Get to America as fast as you can. It's a short game. If you are going to lose, why not lose to the best?

Only time will tell.

Article posted on 23.03.2009

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