07.09.07 – By James Slater: Tonight, at the Doncaster Dome, England, defending WBC light-welterweight boxing champion Junior “The Hitter” Witter scored what is arguably his career best performance to date. He knocked out the tough, former WBA champ Vivian Harris in seven exciting rounds – setting up potentially big-money fights for himself in doing so. Witter, a fighter many have labeled as somewhat boring in the past, needed to make a statement and he did just that in dispatching the game Harris.
Both men had a good look at each other in a very cagey first round. There was a quick, eye-catching burst from the champion at the end of the round, but precious little else. Witter probably just shaded the session.
In the second, the action thankfully livened up. Witter’s hands were extremely fast and sharp, his right hand in particular looking dangerous.
A big left to the head, followed by a right caught Harris and Junior opened up with both hands – driving the challenger to the ropes. Vivian came back with his own right hand, however, and the bell ended a good round seconds later. I gave this round to the champion also.
In the third round, an ultra-quick left to the jaw cracked Harris. The challenger’s chin stood up well though, and he came back with a shot of his own. Is there going to be a KO? I scribbled in my notes at this early stage. It already looked like it. But in who’s favour? With Junior looking as incredibly sharp as he was, the chances of Harris hitting him cleanly enough to stop him looked somewhat doubtful. The challenger was struggling with Witter’s unorthodox style already. Another round for Junior.
There were fireworks in the fourth, as Vivian was put on the floor on two occasions. The first time, despite the existence of a left hook to the head, was ruled no knockdown by referee Daniel Van De Wiele. The second trip to the floor by Harris was certainly legit though. A crisp left hook upstairs, followed by a right, put the challenger down and he was badly hurt. Almost looking as though he wasn’t going to get back up, Vivian did manage to beat the count at seven. Fortuitously, the bell came mere seconds later. Witter was scoring a total shut-out now.
Looking more than a touch dispirited in the fifth, Harris did, however, appear recovered from the knockdown. Certainly, Witter never went all-out to end the fight. The champion’s blurring hand speed was continuing to prove too much for the younger man though. Where was Harris’ jab? A good body shot landed for Witter, as Vivian gamely made an effort to come forwards at the
round’s end – yet another one I scored for “The Hitter.”
The sixth was “Vicious” Vivian’s best round of the entire fight. With Witter beginning to look a touch ragged, Harris came back into things. There was also quite a bit of wrestling on the inside, as things became quite messy. Harris looked to have completely forgotten about the knockdown he’d suffered. I gave this session to the visiting fighter.
In the seventh, however, Witter sensationally ended matters. Harris was going for it, pressing forwards aggressively, but he was getting caught on the way in. This proved to be his undoing, as he was soon sent reeling in a corner. A devastating left hook landed flush on his jaw, as did a follow-up right to the top of the head wasn’t needed. Vivian was down and looked out. His arm sticking out of the ropes, Harris took the full count and never looked like beating it. Junior Witter was still the WBC champion of the world, and he’d scored his most exciting win to date while successfully defending his beloved belt.
Junior improved to 36-1-2(21) while Vivian fell to 28-3-1(18). More importantly, though, is the fact that it is no longer clear who the 140 pound division’s best fighter is.