Boxing


Witter: time is running out on Hatton

Bradford’s Junior Witter, who made history in September by becoming the first ever Brit to win a WBC world championship at 140lb, believes the clock may be ticking on an all-domestic marquee affair against Ricky Hatton. Whilst the 32-year-old has a raft of options ahead of him as the holder of the most prestigious belt in the division, he has admitted that long-term rival Hatton is still on his radar as ‘an itch he wants to scratch.’ The pair are already scheduled to headline on the same Sky Box Office Pay Per View Event on January 20th, but on different promotions..

Witter tops the bill on a Hennessy Sports show at the Alexandra Palace in the ‘First Defence’ of his title against tough Mexican Arturo Morua before coverage switches to Vegas, where Hatton takes on Juan Urango for his old IBF crown.

Should the pair ever share the same ring, it could prove the biggest fight in British Boxing history.

Witter, however, believes that the possibility may be at threat.

Not because of the cold water that Team Hatton have been attempting to pour on the fight, but from the effect of Father Time on his, ironically younger, potential opponent.

“Now that I have the world title I have always known I can win, I want to kick on and prove myself against all the big names in the division. That includes Ricky Hatton,” began Witter.

“I don’t go to bed thinking about him. Despite what some people would like us to believe, he is not my sole focus. But he is there. He is in my division and looking to get a world title back. And there is the history that everyone knows about. It would make sense to settle the score once and for all.

“It’s certainly something the public want; if we were both world champions I think it would be the biggest fight in British Boxing history. But as I’ve said before, he needs to show he is interested. It’s not about me chasing him; I have the WBC title now.

“Instead of looking to make the fight, his team seem to want to put obstacles in the way. But I don’t think that’s the biggest problem. These obstacles will be shown for what they are and I think there will be even more call for the fight after we have both boxed on the same PPV.

“I think the biggest problem is that Hatton is deteriorating. He has problems with his eyes and I know he has problems with his elbows. He lets his weight fluctuate as well and at some point it’s all going to catch up with him.

“It nearly did against Collazo, (his last fight), but he scraped through. There is a danger that he is going to lose to someone he wouldn’t have a couple of years ago and that would change the whole picture. I’m not saying it’s going to be Urango, but he’s tough and it’s a possibility.”

Witter has a tough opponent of his own to get past a week on Saturday at the Ally Pally. He faces Arturo Morua from Guadalajara, who holds win over Emanuel Augustus and recent Hatton opponent Carlos Maussa.

“Morua has come in for a bit of criticism, but I think that’s unfair,” added Witter, the former undefeated British, Commonwealth and European champion. “He looks a real handful and will come at me all night. He also deserves credit for taking the fight.

“I have two potentially tough mandatory defences coming up. There are eliminators being fought between Jose Luis Castillo and Herman Ngoudjo as well as Vivian Harris and Juan Lazcano and the WBC have mandated me to defend against the winners of both.

“I have been allowed to take a voluntary beforehand, which is important as I need to stay active whilst the eliminators take place. Morua, who has a good pedigree, was prepared to step up and face me when others weren’t, or were looking at other options. He more than deserves his chance.”

Hennessy Sports Proudly Present
First Defence
@ Alexandra Palace

Saturday 20th January

Tickets priced £40, £80 and £200 on 0870 060 1795.

12 x 3 WBC Light Welterweight Championship
Junior Witter vs. Arturo Morua
(Bradford) (Mexico)

12 x 3 British Light Welterweight Championship
Lenny Daws vs. Barry Morrison
(Morden) (Motherwell)

10 x 3 British Light Welterweight Championship Eliminator
Alan Bosworth vs. Ashley Theophane
(Northampton) (Paddington)

8 x 3 Lightweight
John Murray vs. TBA
(Manchester) ()

8 x 3 Cruiserweight
Troy Ross vs. Hastings Rasani
(Toronto) (Birmingham)

6 x 3 Super Bantamweight
Esham Pickering vs. TBA
(Newark) ()

6 x 3 Middleweight
Matthew Thirlwall vs. TBA
(Bermondsey) (Barnsley)

6 x 3 Light Middleweight
George Hillyard vs. Tony Rendall
(Canning Town) (Birmingham)

The live Sky Box Office event on January 20th 2007 will be available to Sky digital viewers for £14.95 [€21.95 for ROI customers] on Sky Box Office channel 755. Viewers can order the event from Friday 13 January, by pressing the 'box office' button on their Sky remote handset or by calling 08705 800 888 [there is a £1 fee is for bookings made by telephone]. Cable customers should contact their local cable operator'.

Article posted on 11.01.2007



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