Bradford boxing hero Junior Witter is ready to branch out – in the world of lawn bowls.
The former world champion has agreed to join Jamaica’s first-ever four-man team and will take to the same green being used in this summer’s Common-wealth Games.
“We’re going to be like the Jamaican bobsleigh team,” laughed Witter. “It will be the bowls version of Cool Runnings!
“I played when I was about nine or ten but haven’t really done it since. Then I was chatting on Facebook to Andrew Newell, who is putting the team together, and he asked if I fancied doing it.
“We’ve got some practice lined up in the next couple of months and we’re playing in Scotland.
“We’re too late to enter the Commonwealth Games but we’re having a kit done and you never know – though I’m not sure they’ll be too impressed if I bowl it down the middle.”
But don’t be fooled into thinking that taking up a more genteel sport means the 40-year-old is moving towards retirement from the ring.
Witter is back in action again at Leeds Town Hall a week on Saturday with another six-rounder – and he has his sights on regaining the domestic belt.
He said: “I want the British title back by the end of the year. I’m hungry again and fighting regularly and will keep hassling the board to make me the number one contender.
“I had a terrible year in 2013 and I lost a ridiculous decision in Germany (to undefeated Timo Schwarzkopf). But that fight proved a lot to me.
“Losing (the title) to Frankie Gavin wasn’t a good performance at my level but I went over there and showed that I am back. Everybody is behind me.
“One thing I like about our gym is that we don’t tip-toe around. If people look bad you tell them to their face.
“If you’re training hard, they will tell you that too. I need that honesty and it works for me. They know I’ve got that drive to fight on and I’m ready to perform again. I want that British title back and then I’m going after the world honours.”
The Hennessy Sports bill on May 17, which is being shown live on Channel 5, also features Bradford welterweight Darren Tetley, who has won both of his pro outings so far. The main event involves the semi-finals of the MaxiNutrition Knockout heavyweight competiton.
Tickets start from £35 and are available from Ticketline on 0844-8889991 or online at 222.ticketline.co.uk. Witter can also be contacted on Twitter at @jrwitter for details.