Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Witter wants another belt for his mantlepiece
It is one of the most iconic awards in British sport and a permanent fixture in Junior Witter’s front room.
Bradford’s only boxing world champion is rightly chuffed with the Lonsdale Belt he got to keep for the length of time he ruled the domestic light-welterweight roost.
But as Witter prepares for his “last-chance saloon” shoot-out with Colin Lynes tomorrow night, the 38-year-old veteran reckons there is space on his mantlepiece for a companion.
“I’m greedy, why not?” he smiled. “I’ve got one belt at home and now I want to make it two. I’ve been there and done it before. I’ve been champion and know what you have to do to get there.”
Having mopped up in the ten-stone division, the prospect of becoming a two-weight champion and taking the British welter title from the current holder is an added attraction.
Victory in Sheffield could open the door to more money-making outings – defeat would certainly spell the end of a career spanning 15 years.
Witter insists the added pressure of knowing this could be his last fight simply spurs him on. Brendan Ingle reckons he is sparring better now than a decade ago.
The doyen of the Wincobank gym may be accustomed to the Irish blarney but the boxer himself believes the preparations for the Lynes re-match have been spot-on.
Witter said: “The training’s been second to none. I’m getting beaten on the long runs but I’m working harder than ever.
“I’m always in the gym, I’m fit and I still want it. The desire within me is burning strong.
“I’m desperate to get back and show what I am about. I see these champions and the mistakes they are making and I know I can beat them.
“Colin Lynes is a great fighter. I take my hat off for the way he has come back.
“But it’s his bad luck that he is coming up against me again.”
Witter picked off a cautious Lynes when they last faced up at York Hall in October 2005, getting the vote with all three judges to defend his British, European and Commonwealth 140lb belts.
But with Lynes suddenly rejuvenated, trainer Dominic Ingle is not reading too much into that first encounter.
He said: “It was a bit of a tactical match-up between two counter punchers but it was a long time ago.
“I remember when Colin was talking about packing up. He’d got through 12 rounds with Junior Witter and then become the British and European champion after that.
“But here he is back and totally outboxing Lee Purdy a couple of months back to win the title again.
“Junior is 38 and he’s slowed down a bit but he’s still hungry. He’s been sparring with Kell Brook and you can see how much he wants to be champion again.”