BARRY McGUIGAN: Hey Junior, Stop All That Wittering and Start Hitting

The Mirror (London, England), July 9, 2005 | Go to article overview
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BARRY McGUIGAN: Hey Junior, Stop All That Wittering and Start Hitting


Byline: BARRY McGUIGAN

JUNIOR WITTER steps out of Ricky Hatton's shadow tonight hoping to remind the light-welterweight division that his fists pack as big a punch as his tongue.

Junior has been on familiar territory since Hatton's brilliant win over Kostya Tszyu, trying to lever his way into contention for the big fights.

His deal with Oscar De La Hoya was a step in the right direction, but for fighters like Witter, dangerous outsiders capable of causing a serious upset, a lot of the promotional donkey work has to come from themselves.

Hence his observation that the Tszyu beaten by Hatton was not the same boxer that dominated the division in his pomp. A negative soundbite floating on the sea of plaudits that swept Hatton to the top of the Christmas card list in America.

All good stuff of course. Water off a duck's back to Hatton, good copy in the boxing press days before he defends his own European crown against Andreas Kotelnik.

Witter first appeared on the American radar as a late replacement to face Zab Judah on the undercard of Mike Tyson V Lou Saverese in Glasgow. He did not make many friends. He was negative and awkward, frustrating Judah all night.

Though Witter emerged with credit he learned that he would have to change tack to be invited back into the inner circle. He responded with a string of knock-out victories and an impressive showing against Lovemore N'dou.

N'dou took WBO light-welterweight champion Miguel Cotto the distance.

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