By Sean McDaniel: Former World Boxing Council (WBC) light welterweight champion Junior Witter (39-5-2, 22 KO’s) took a parting shot at Ricky Hatton recently when asked what his favorite Hatton moment was during his career by the Shefield Star. Instead of remembering some of Hatton’s impressive knockout shots or great victories, Witter said “When Floyd Mayweather hit him with a left hook and he fell head first into the ring post before hitting the canvas.”
As you can see, Witter isn’t exactly a huge fan of Hatton and for good reason. During a seven year period between 2000 and 2007, Witter was one of the best fighters in the UK and fought at the same weight that Hatton did during those years. Despite Witter having great skills and asking Hatton for a fight over and over again, Hatton chose to ignore him and star far away from a fight with the slick Witter.
Hatton’s reasons for not fighting Witter was that he talked too much trash. However, some boxing fans felt that Hatton didn’t feel comfortable with Witter’s fighting style and quick hands. Indeed, Witter had a way of making his opponents look bad by making them miss and countering them. And he really was a very good fighter during that period of time.
But Witter didn’t have the same charisma that Hatton had and he didn’t brawl like Hatton did. Because of that, he failed to win over the boxing fans in the same way that Hatton was able to. Still, Witter would have been a very difficult fight for Hatton if he had taken that fight, because Witter would have had a lot of chances to tag Hatton with shots that he’d not see coming due to Witter’s hand speed. In hindsight, Hatton should have fought him to prove that he really was the best fighter in the UK. By choosing to ignore him, Hatton left a lot of doubt whether he really was the best fighter at his weight class even in his own country.
Witter’s career slowed down when he turned 34. He lost some of his hand speed and was beaten by Timothy Bradley, Devon Alexander and recently to Victor Lupo Puiu and Yassine El Maachi. These are all fighters that a younger Witter would have likely beaten without too many problems.