Boxing


Witter closing in on Hatton once again

03.08.05 - Bradford’s Junior Witter has moved closer to a shot at a genuine world title having recently been installed into the top three of all the major governing bodies light welterweight rankings. This includes the IBF - of whom long-term domestic rival Ricky Hatton is champion – who place him at third. Significantly there is no other fighter ranked above him.

“I am the obvious choice to become Ricky’s first mandatory contender, whether directly or through a final eliminator,” explained the 31-year-old Witter.

“Obviously that would be a dream come true for me; it is a fight I have wanted for years.

“Once Ricky had become IBF champion I thought the chances of it ever coming off had passed completely – why would he risk his position by facing me?

“But the job my promotional team have done has made it a distinct possibility again. Ricky will have to fight me if I’m his mandatory.”

The Ingle trained switch-hitter – who recently defeated Andreas Kotelnik, the mandatory contender for his European title – is highest ranked at #2 with the WBC.

A fight with current champion and pound for pound operator Floyd Mayweather may also be on the cards then given that the #1 contender Gianluca Branco is rumoured to be challenging WBO champion Miguel Cotto.

“I would not be fazed at taking on Mayweather, despite that fact that most people regard him as the best in the sport,“ said Witter. “I know that when I land flush I can take out any 140lb fighter, including the ‘Pretty Boy’.

“The fight is becoming a real possibility, particularly if Branco moves out of the way, potentially making the need for a final eliminator redundant.”

Witter now occupies the number #3 berth with both the WBA and WBO, whose current champions are Carlos Maussa and Miguel Cotto respectively. Given that the future intentions of fighters ranked above him by both organisations are unclear, challenges for these titles are also within touching distance.

“Sooner or later one of the champions is going to have to defend against me,” Witter added. “I am now in pole position; how many other fighters are ranked so highly with all the governing bodies?

“In the past I have been put forward as a potential challenger for the likes of both Mayweather and Cotto and was turned down.

“The only way these guys will be able to avoid me soon is by giving up their belts.”

Article posted on 03.08.2005



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