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Witter Loses Chance For Khan Bout

By Sean McDaniel: With Junior Witter’s quit job against Devon Alexander last Saturday night, it effectively rules out a unification fight between Witter and World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight champion Amir Khan (21-1, 15 KO’s) for the near future and perhaps permanently. Witter, 35, had been aiming for Khan before the Alexander bout, saying that he would knock the 22-year-old Khan within three rounds.

The bout would have been popular in the UK, if not the world. Witter was out of his league against Alexander on Saturday night, unable to deal with the American fighter’s pressure, harder shots and better inside fighting ability. As the fight wore on, Alexander began to find Witter with big shots and hurt the British fighter. After the 8th round, Witter decided he’d had enough and didn’t answer the bell for the 9th.

Witter claimed later that he had injured his left elbow in the 4th round and he was in a lot of pain and unable to use the arm (which is his best weapon) to hold back the younger Alexander. Witter was still using his left up through the 8th round and didn’t show any visible signs of having hurt it. The loss was a crushing blow for Witter, because it would have meant big fights against the likes of Khan, and other big named light welterweights like Timothy Bradley.

Witter had chased Ricky Hatton for years without success, trying to get Hatton to fight him for a good payday. Unfortunately, with this loss, Witter’s second defeat in his last three fights, it’s doubtful that Hatton will ever fight Witter now. Hatton has his own problems to worry about having lost two out of his last four fights.

While Witter is now out of the running for a fight with Khan, it’s doubtful that Alexander will be high on the radar for Khan either. Alexander looked too good against Witter and it’s unlikely that Khan or his promoter will want to put him in against a talented fighter like Alexander in a unification bout. Alexander looks a lot better than Andriy Kotelnik right now and it would be a very tough fight for Khan to get through.

Alexander isn’t a real big puncher but as he showed against Witter, he hits hard enough to cause problems occasionally. Even with Khan’s trainer Freddie Roach trying to put together the perfect fight plan, it would still be a tough fight for Khan to win. He’d have a chance because Alexander isn’t a huge puncher and does his best work on the inside. But, Khan would have stay on the move the entire fight otherwise Alexander would grind him down like he did against Witter.

Khan wants to take on fighters in the United States to try and become a super star. Khan’s number #1 challenger Dimitri Salita isn’t the kind of fighter that will do much to increase Khan’s status among American boxing fans, so Khan is going to have to seek out better opponents than that if he wants to build on his fan base.

Khan has a reputation of being selective when looking for opponents, and the choice of Kotelnik, one of the weaker champions in the light welterweight division, did nothing to erase that belief. Khan needs to be fighting opponents like Marcos Maidana, Victor Cayo, Alexander or Bradley if he wants to win over new boxing fans.


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