Witter: I'm itching for a fight and can beat new kid on the block (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Junior Witter: I'm itching for a fight and can beat new kid on the block
Junior Witter insists high-calibre sparring keeps him young as he builds up for a landmark 50th pro fight in Germany.
Bradford’s only former world champion faces unbeaten Albanian prospect Timo Schwarzkopf in Stuttgart next month.
It is a year since Witter, who turns 40 in March, last stepped in the ring when he lost the British welterweight title to Frankie Gavin.
But he has stressed there is no thought of hanging up the gloves – and believes the quality of his opponents in the gym has got him back on top of his game.
Witter is due to spar with European super-welterweight champion Sergey Rabchenko today and recently returned from Russia, where he shared the ring with WBA light-welterweight holder Khabib Allakhverdiev.
His daily work with the Ingle camp in Sheffield has also ensured there is no hint of slowing down.
He said: “I’m holding my own with guys who are 21, 23, 25 and at their peak. I’m still giving them the run-around.
“I was sparring with Kid Galahad the other night and controlling him. The moves and the tricks are still there.
“I’ve kind of slipped in the last couple of years but now I know I’m back. I had some time off after my last fight but I came back nice and steady in January and I’ve been ready for months.
“I’ve been itching for a fight but it just hasn’t worked out. But I’m happy with this one – it’s in his backyard and I will get booed but I’m used to that.”
German-based Schwarzkopf has won all 12 of his fights, with seven knock-outs. The 21-year-old is hoping to be fast-tracked into title contention with the scalp of a former world champion.
He said: “I don’t want to wait too long for big fights. I work hard and would like to measure myself against great people now – and put myself right into the mix.”
Schwarzkopf was just five when Witter last fought in Germany in 1997 for his seventh pro outing. The veteran is excited for their ten-round showdown on November 15.
Witter, who has won 41 out of 49 with two draws, added: “I didn’t want an easy, gimme job. I’ve always got stuff to prove and I’ve got that bit between my teeth again.
“He can dig and he looks big enough. He is up and coming and they obviously rate him – yeah, that suits me.
“Going up against it is when I can produce the best.
“I’ve got no intention of retiring. I feel fit and as long as I can perform then why should I?
“I’m handling myself fine against top guys in sparring so I know I can still do it in the ring. I still want it.
“Boxing’s a strange old game but it’s in my blood – it’s what I do.”
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