In UK boxing news, Bradford’s Junior Witter moved a step closer to an authentic world title challenge last week when the WBC installed him as the number one contender to their current champion and pound for pound king “Pretty Boy’”Floyd Mayweather.
The decision to elevate the British, Commonwealth and European titleholder follows the exclusion of Gianluca Branco – who is set to face WBO king Miguel Cotto – from the governing body’s latest junior welterweight rankings.
“This is obviously great news for Junior, “ said his promoter Mick Hennessy. “It is indicative of the progress he has made since he began working with us.”
Hennessy added: “Our priority now is to get him installed as the WBC mandatory challenger as soon as is possible. Given past events with Branco, I strongly believe Junior deserves this position.
“He has earned the right to face Mayweather, a marquee champion. A Mayweather-Witter showdown would be a great fight for the 140 lb. division.
“Junior would be a completely different proposition to Mayweather’s last victim Arturo Gatti. Junior wouldn’t be a stationary target; he’s got fantastic movement and punches harder than Gatti.”
Witter may get the chance to prove that with a direct comparison. Rumors are circulating that Mayweather may vacate his title and move out of the division to face either Winky Wright or Zab Judah.
If that comes to pass the WBC would have to match their top two ranked light welterweight contenders – Witter and Gatti.
“Gatti’s a proven warrior but I’m convinced that Junior would bring way too much to the table for him,” added Hennessy.
“This would be another fight well worthy of a world title that would generate significant interest on both sides of the pond.”
Witter is also highly regarded by the other recognised governing bodies. Having recently consolidated his position as an elite fighter, he now also finds himself ranked WBA #3, IBF#3 and WBO #3.
His time is drawing near.
“I’m ready to make the move from a highly ranked contender to a highly regarded champion,” said Witter.
“I’m a premier player and I want to prove it right now. I don’t want to sit in the comfort zone and take easy touches. I want to prove I am the best by beating the best.”