Australian Light-Welterweight contender Lovemore N’Dou was making plans to head home following the disappointing cancellation of his supposed WBC final eliminator bout with Britain’s Junior Witter.
Where this leaves Junior Witter is unclear. His promoter Mick Hennessy did stress in his first press release regarding this contest that their agreement was only verbal and, perhaps encouragingly, he had a profile contingency in place if the N’Dou fight couldn’t be made.
So hopefully all is not lost for the Englishman.
When I was lucky enough to catch up with Lovemore again today to get the story from the source, his frustration and disappointment were clear:
Hi Lovemore. I hear things are not good. What has happened?
I’m heading home. The fight isn’t happening.
You’re not even in negotiations? There is nowhere else to go?
No, finished. The fight hasn’t been sanctioned as a WBC eliminator. I said before I left Australia I would only fight Witter if it was an eliminator. I was very clear about that.
Then I get to LA and they show me this stupid contract that doesn’t even have a mention of the WBC. So then they tell me they’ll contact Jose Sulaiman (WBC President) but he tells them he won’t sanction it as a final eliminator. The winner has to fight Branco before Gatti too.
Not only that. But they (Hennessy) are also asking for a rematch clause, options, clauses, all sorts. Before I left Australia I made it clear it had to be the WBC eliminator.
When we spoke on Sunday you stressed it was only ever about the WBC eliminator status.
And the money is peanuts; I’m not earning well out of this. I could get better money for a fight in Australia.
So to confirm the fight is dead?
End of story, the fight is dead. And as I said on Sunday, I don’t need this fight. Gatti needs to fight. If the Mayweather fight can’t happen, who will they turn to? You know, everybody knows, they will not want Witter. The HBO won’t sanction Witter, nobody wants Witter, Gatti’s already fought Branco, so where does that leave them? Lovemore Ndou. Witter isn’t a TV fighter.
I’m a warrior. I’d have taken the fight if the money was good but it’s not, I’m not interested in the Commonwealth title. I wanted the WBC eliminator.
Do you know if Junior will still be in the bill?
Good luck to him. I have nothing against Junior. He’s a great fighter and it would have been a great fight for the fans. I asked for the contract before I left Australia, but I didn’t get it.
I think they thought I’d arrive here in LA, they shove this shit contract in my face and I’d just say yes. But I’m not dumb.
Why should I fight for peanuts and the fight isn’t even an eliminator? I’m not interested.
It’s a short career. You have to make careful decisions.
That’s it. I’m not happy. I wanted the fight and I’ve come all this way.
So it is true you’ll be fighting in Australia in March as reported?
Yes, probably that’s what we’ll do.
Any ideas on opponents at this stage?
We have a few names but nothing finalised at this stage. We’ll take a look at that when I get back.
Presumably it will be for the IBF Pan-Pacific, you hold some sort of regional belt with them don’t you?
Probably, OPBF or something like that
Sorry to labour the point Lovemore, but confirm: There is nowhere else for this fight to go, you’re heading home and that’s the end of it. You’re not waiting on any more negotiations?
No, its over. I’m heading home.
That’s a real shame. It would have been a cracking fight. There will be a lot of disappointment about it falling down.
I’m disappointed too. I wanted the fight. It would have been a great fight. But . . .
Thanks for talking to me again Lovemore. Have a safe trip home.