Junior Witter – Timothy Bradley – Fight Preview, Predictions & Questions

For all intents and purposes Ricky Hatton is the recognized king of the junior welterweight (140 lbs.) division.¬† Fellow Brit and no. 2 rated Junior Witter has long contested that notion and in recent years has openly pinned for a lucrative showdown between the two.¬† Hatton’s response to this?¬† “[Witter’s] nothing but a boil in me arse.”¬† Not a pretty sight to imagine and to be honest I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.¬† In light of Hatton’s dismissive comments Witter contends that Hatton is afraid and is doing just as big a duck job as Floyd Mayweather is with Miguel Cotto.¬† Saturday night Showtime will treat American fight fans with a rare glimpse of Witter in action as he defends his WBC title against one of America’s brightest prospects in Timothy Bradley.¬† The Stakes:¬† For Witter this is a chance at redemption with the American audience.¬† Most fight fans on this side of the pond recollection of Witter was his horrendous lack of courage in a bout with Zab Judah back in 2000.¬† Though Witter took the fight on short notice the fact that he laced up his track shoes and literally ran away from Judah left many fans here with a sour taste in their mouths.¬† Since that loss Witter has gone undefeated and has slowly created a buzz for himself within the sport.¬† His recent string of victories, highlighted by a TKO of Vivian Harris, have left many feeling that Witter is a force to be reckoned with at 140¬†pounds.¬† At the ripe age of 35 Witter seems aware that the time to cash in on his talents is now.¬† A poor showing Saturday night and he may never get the chance to land a big money fight.¬† For Bradley the stakes are a bit different.¬† Most recognize that Witter is the favorite going in and while Bradley has created a nice name for himself in the southern California scene his popularity has not yet gained national mainstream attention.¬† Though it is not for lock of talent as Bradley is a fundamentally sound and was a very accomplished amateur.¬† This fight with Witter will represent a HUGE jump up in competition and the jury is still out on how Bradley can handle this type of assignment.¬† The Nicknames:¬† Bradley is known as “Desert Storm” given his hometown residence of Palm Springs, CA.¬† Witter is strangely nicknamed “The Hitter” which makes as much sense as me going by the nickname Sexual Chocolate.¬† Bradley wins this battle. The Questions:¬† Can Witter impress the tuned in audience and erase any doubts to his worthiness to call out Hatton?¬† Should Witter dominate and leave the audience breathless then the pressure falls on Hatton to agree to the showdown.¬† For Bradley the questions are numerous.¬† Is Bradley ready for a title shot?¬† How will he deal with the step up in competition?¬† Will fighting in Witter’s backyard of Nottingham pose a problem?¬† Win and Bradley is a legitimate bad ass and the future looks bright lose and the perception of overrated creeps in.¬† After all Bradley’s title eliminator bout was to be with Jose Luis Castillo which would have been a great litmus test for Bradley.¬† Unfortunately “Fatillo” could not put down the carne asada long enough to make weight and the WBC vaulted Bradley to his current status.¬† My Prediction:¬† Witter win a very unimpressive unanimous decision.¬† Witter’s unorthodox style and deceptive power will be on display but I think Bradley’s speed and defense will prevent a knockout.¬† I just don’t see Witter winning this one in exciting fashion.¬† The fact that he seems overconfident may come back to bite him in the arse.¬† My Confidence:¬† 75%.¬† Witter has surprised me before and while it is possible that Bradley’s great hand speed could cause fits for the Brit I just don’t think he is seasoned enough to pull off the upset.¬† I don’t think Bradley will ever stop trying put he lacks the needed power to cuase problems for Witter.¬†

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.