Boxing


Junior Witter Says He Won't Retire, Plans To Move Up To Welterweight

by James Slater - While Britain's former IBF light-heavyweight champion Clinton Woods has today announced his retirement from boxing, Britain's former WBA light-welterweight champion Junior Witter has decided to carry on. Despite coming off a corner retirement loss to the unbeaten Devon Alexander in his last outing, 35-year-old Witter says he will carry on fighting, but up at welterweight..

Witter, who lost his WBA belt to Timothy Bradley last year and failed to regain the title against Alexander, was given much criticism for the way he quit on his stool after the 8th-round back on August 1st in California, but he has spoken of how much pain his elbow injury was giving him upon doing so.

"My elbow had gone, I was fighting with one arm," Witter said to The Star. "I knew I couldn't win and there was no point in simply taking punishment. It would have been like sending foot soldiers into a war armed with water pistols. The pain was bad, more so when I was missing punches and blocking than actually punching.

"I took some shots, but I didn't take a beating. Life is full of knocks and I may take a few more yet."

Witter went on to say how he can no longer make 140-pounds, and that he should have made the move up to 147 before the Alexander fight. Junior's plan, reportedly, is to go for the European welterweight title currently held by Italy's Gianluca Branco, and then, if successful there, go for a world title at his new weight. The plan sounds fine, but is the 35-year-old good enough to win a recognised belt in the talent-rich welterweight division of today?

Would Witter, 37-3-2(22) have a chance, in your opinion, of beating guys like Shane Mosley, Andre Berto or the winner of the Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao fight? Thought not. Perhaps Witter will target newly crowned IBF champ Isaac Hlatshwayo of South Africa instead. Far from a big puncher with just 10 KO's to his name, perhaps the 31-year-old from Soweto is a man Junior will see as beatable.

Witter is correct though, when he says he is a fighter who has never been subjected to a bad beating, and as well preserved as he is for his age maybe the man who ruled at 140-pounds from 2006 to 2008 can indeed become a two-time champion. The odds, however, will likely be very much against it.

Article posted on 08.09.2009



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