Spaniard Daniel ‘Rasilla, ranked #13 at 140 pounds by the EBU has agreed to step in to tackle Paul McCloskey for the European crown next week. While it will underwhelm those hoping speculating about more mouth-watering contests with everyone from Junior Witter to Gavin Rees the Spaniard – according to Barry Hearn – is close to weight, in the gym and eager to take the chance. Continue reading “Come in #13, Daniel Rasilla gets the nod for McCloskey”
Paul McCloskey is still looking for an opponent following the withdrawal of Frenchman Souleymane M’Baye – the former WBA Light-Welterweight champion – from their European title fight next week. The shopping list of potential opponents is seemingly rich, with many of the possible domestic replacements in the gym ahead of the Prizefighter 140 pound tournament next month. One fighter who wont be answering the call is EBU #4 Light-Welterweight Giuseppe Lauri. The Italian, who has the rare distinction of having fought Ricky Hatton and Junior Witter, couldn’t make 10 stone in a week. [Update available]
In disturbing news, I’ve learned the WBC looks likely to withdraw sanction for the clash between Junior Witter and Devon Alexander due to a row over the assignment of officials. This weekend’s clash was to include Britain’s premier official, Richie Davies, as one of three ringside judges all assigned to the fight by the World Boxing Council. For reasons beyond the logic of any boxing observer, the Californian State Athletic Commission has rejected Davies. Presently, the fight will be officiated by a Californian and judged by officials from California, Mexico and Nevada and unless the stand-off is resolved, the WBC belt will not be on the line. Whether Witter would even go through with the fight without the prize is highly unlikely. Continue reading “Exclusive: Witter v Alexander not for the title? WBC withdraw sanction!”
The forthcoming middleweight clash between veteran southpaw Winky Wright and Paul Williams, the former Welterweight champion stirred me to contemplate which fighter of the past decade had been the most avoided. Winky Wright makes a strong claim for this unwanted acknowledgement, particularly given his recent enforced inactivity, but ultimately he has secured bouts with Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins to name but two. His advocates would remind me he had to chase Hopkins all the way up to Light-Heavyweight when they spent years side by side in the Middleweight division, both in desperate need of a big payday. Williams too, wouldn’t be without his supporters, but now he has Wright, following victory over Margarito, himself a contender for the tag. Continue reading “Most avoided fighter of the past 10 years? Poll”
Contrary to some curious commentary from Col Bob Sheridan, who tried hard to make the fight more competitive than it was, Timothy Bradley delivered another complete, considered and positive performance to repel the challenge of Edner Cherry this weekend. In defending his WBC 140lb strap Bradley showed development from his victory over Junior Witter and emerged, in my eyes at least, as a world-class performer of real merit. Continue reading “Every cloud; Timothy Bradley arrives as a major player”
Defining Junior Witter’s style has stumped greater minds than mine. Unorthodox is the ubiquitous descriptive and through generic, probably the most accurate. The former WBC Light-Welterweight champion is almost impossible to pigeon-hole, once the slippery, pitter-patter runner he blossomed into a destructive two fisted puncher but threw in enough disjointed performances to never fully engage the Yorkshire public or television audiences. Now as a former, rather than current World champion the one thing he is, without fear of contradiction, is avoidable. Continue reading “Awkward as ever, Junior Witter speaks out”
It was painful to view. And my scorecard reflected my desire to prolong the feint hope of Junior Witter finally securing the chance to face arch-rival Ricky Hatton before both got too old or too fat for anyone to care. Placing the credit for the victory at the door of Ricky Hatton, given it was young Timothy Bradley in the ring throwing punches, would be ungracious and unfair but there was certainly a shadow of the wealthy Hitman over the split decision triumph for the American. Continue reading “Hatton v Witter, goes down the ……”
TSS Archive: 18/01/2007
It is a worn analogy to compare boxers with hookers, but for those fighters who eek out a career well beneath the remuneration and spotlight of the bill toppers the cliche undoubtedly has some resonance.
Former British title challenger Alan Bosworth is one such heart on his sleeve puncher who walked away from the sport he’s loved and loathed in equal measure for most of his life. He did so with precious little to show for the sacrifices he’s made to compete. Behind the warmth he extended to me in his home in 2007, lay a bitterness for those who’ve influenced his career directly, and indirectly, and a forgiveable avarice for the opportunity and protection afforded to the sport’s young prospects. It is already more than a year since one of boxing’s grittiest performers retired.Continue reading “Archive: Knowing You’re Born: A Boxer’s Tale”
Every one of us lives by certain unfathomable rules; idiosyncratic lines we never venture across. Superstitions or clichés collected from life experience or bestowed from those who formed us. “Never drink in pubs near the market in a strange town” my Dad always implored, a directive I wish I’d adhered to when I was in Stoke-On-Trent in the early nineties but that’s another story.
When Junior Witter, the WBC Light-Welterweight champion, dips his sculptured frame and no doubt intricately shaven head between the ropes at the Doncaster Dome tonight he will not be the first ‘World Champion’ to grace a ring in the South Yorkshire town. But it feels like it. Continue reading “Boxing: Witter, Woodcock and the world title that never was”
A cash and sporting asset rich American consortium is part of the driving force behind the refit of the Millennium Dome this summer that will see the much maligned big tent re-emerge as a indoor arena capable of seating 23,000 spectators. The owners have stakes in a raft of major American sports teams and it strikes me as a glorious venue for elite boxing in the UK, rivalling the MEN arena in Manchester which, by coincidence is owned by the same company. Hatton v Witter at the Millennium Dome? Go on Ricky you know you want to.
The on-going PR campaign being waged by Junior Witter’s irrepressible promotional team, Hennessey Sports is beginning to take on a life of its own. Perpetual and persistent, the endless supply of challenges made to Ricky Hatton is slowly returning the long-overdue Hatton v Witter clash to the top of most boxing fans’ list of must-see engagements.
True, Hatton’s clash with Jose Luis Castillo takes on greater meaning for the intangible ‘legacy’ to which it seems all boxer’s attribute every matchmaking decision of their career – though precious few selections actually the deliver the validation they claim to crave – and for the lucrative American market for whom Junior Witter represents… Continue reading “Boxing: Witter Just Wouldn’t Let It Lie”