Witter-Kotelnik: Kotelnik camp considers protest
11.07.05 - By F.Weber, Boxing.de – A large group of experts as well as the team of Kotelnik question the victory of Junior Witter over Andreas Kotelnik on Saturday in Nottingham. The 27-year-old Ukrainian fought on foreign turf against the European super lightweight champion from England. The fight went twelve rounds and the official judges scored the contest twice 115:114 and once 117:111..
Article posted on 11.07.2005
However, the observing experts had seen things differently.
“Junior Witter was fortunate to hang on to his European light welterweight title after a strange performance against Kotelnik Saturday night”, the British boxing website Secondsout.com stated in an article. “After a bright start, he faded badly for the second time in a row once the fight went past six rounds.”
Several other British publications joined the general opinion by writing very critical on Junior Witter.
“After starting well, the Bradford switch-hitter found Kotelnik, an upright boxer from Ukraine with a high defence, difficult to catch and was picked off repeatedly in the second half of the contest”, ‘The Times’ wrote.
“It was an uninspiring display from the Bradford switch-hitter who looked to be coasting in the early rounds but faded badly as the fight wore on. Two judges scored the fight 115-114 in Witter's favour while one inexplicably had it 117-111”, BBC complained.
Even Junior Witter himself made comments after the fight that suggest he may have felt like a loser.
“I’ve never felt that slow in the ring and I’ve never been caught that much”, Witter said. “It was much closer than I expected and much closer than it should have been.”
According to Secondsout.com the ‘Hitter’ never hit Kotelnik clean.
„'The Hitter' had difficultly landing cleanly and never hurt the 27-year-old challenger”, Secondsout.com wrote. “Once the fight went past the sixth round, things began to change. Witter, now aged 31, slowed down considerably and an encouraged Kotelnik began to clip him with right hands and left hooks. All the best shots in the second half of the fight were from the challenger. SecondsOut had it 115-115.”
Kotelnik coach Michael Timm saw his guy ahead by several points
„At the end of the fight I saw Andrej four rounds ahead. I was in good hope that we would be given the victory on foreign turf”, Timm said. “The British audience booed their own man. That tells the whole story. In rounds one and two Andrej started up defensive and did everything right. Because we could see that Witter wanted to counter. Witter was very tightened up and he wanted to knock Andrej out. Witter obviously knew about the strong stamina of Andrej and he was afraid the fight could last twelve rounds.”
According to Timm the fight started to turn after round three.
„Beginning with round three Andrej countered from all angles. We all know that usualy Andrej has a lot of marks on his face after a fight. Often he looks like he was hit by a truck. However, this time he was completely unmarked. The reason is that Witter never landed a single straight punch on him. Andrej improved round by round and eventually started to go after the champion. The 115:114 scoring is already wrong. But to score it 117:111 is completely ridiculous.”
Andreas Kotelnik himself is speechless.
„Andrej was completely speechless. He couldn’t believe what just happened when they announced the scores“, coach Michael Timm reports. “Now he is afraid that the wrong scoring ruined his professional future. He is really depressed because he saw himself as the clear winner.”
Dietmar Poszwa, manager of Spotlight Boxing, was ringside in Nottingham as well.
„Everyone who I talked to about this fight has seen Kotelnik win“, Poszwa said. “This includes all British persons who I talked to. We will now consider filing an official protest.”
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