Junior Witter - "I Shouldn't Have Got In The Ring That Night [Against Timothy Bradley]"
by James Slater - Practically every fighter has an excuse he comes up with after suffering a loss. Unable to accept that he was simply beaten by the better man, the crushed warrior is capable of coming up with all kinds of imaginative excuses to explain his failure to win his fight. However, U.K boxer Junior Witter, the former WBC light-welterweight champion, is one boxer who has a genuine reason to give when explaining his last defeat.
Article posted on 08.11.2008
Witter, defending his WBC crown against the unbeaten Timothy Bradley back in May, had been informed just days before that his father Walter had been diagnosed with lung cancer. With this shatteringly bad news on his mind while entering the ring, one can understand the fighter's claims that this was a big factor in his points loss. Indeed, speaking to The Sheffield Star yesterday, Witter said he really had no business getting in the ring that night.
"I shouldn't have got in the ring that night," Witter confessed. "I wasn't in the best mindset going in. People were telling me to pull out but I said I wouldn't do that. I didn't want to let my fans down. But I under-performed. I tried and thought I'd done enough. But I admit it wasn't me in that ring. The shock of what was happening to my dad was part of it.
"I didn't say anything until now because my dad is a private man. It's out now and I want to be honest with my fans. I tried burying myself in training but I peaked too early. You live and learn."
Thankfully, Witter's father is said to be making a good recovery and he will likely be at ringside for his son's comeback fight tonight in London. Opposing the former WBC champ, who still has plenty of self belief that tells him he will become world champion once more, will be Argentina's Victor Hugo Castro. Witter hopes a win will get him a step closer to regaining his belt.
"The Hitter is back," Junior said confidently. "I know what I've got to do. I'm out to destroy my opponents - and come next year I will regain my world title. [Ricky] Hatton is probably going to get beaten in his next fight or he will retire. Then that's [the chances of Witter and Hatton meeting as was always Junior's hope] over and done with. It's not that I don't want a piece of him. He doesn't want a piece of me."
It's true, a Hatton-Witter clash would have been extremely interesting. Such a fight looks all but never to happen now, though - if it ever did look likely. Instead, Witter must first get past 33-year-old Castro, 29-4(12) - and then he can focus all his attention on getting his belt back from Timothy Bradley. Rematch anyone?
Stopping the tough Argentine won't be an easy assignment tonight, however (Castro's only been stopped once, over four years ago) and Witter may well have to make do with a points victory.
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