With world champion Kostya Tszyu defending against Ricky Hatton and Arturo Gatti fighting Floyd Mayweather, the 140-pound division will get a long-awaited shakedown in the coming months. But two of the most talented fighters in one of the deepest weightes class in boxing still find themselves on the outside looking in. WBA title holder Vivian Harris (rated #3 by Boxingtalk) and European champion Junior Witter (Boxingtalk #7) are watching the top dogs in the division get the big money fights while their devoted work at junior welterweight goes seemingly unnoticed outside of our ratings.
The problem for them is that the winner of Tszyu-Hatton and Gatti-Mayweather may look towards each other for a superfight or, more likely, look to move up to Shame Mosley or Oscar De La Hoya at 147. Even the losers of each upcoming fight would not likely want someone as tough as Witter or Harris in a comeback fight.
With Miguel Cotto certainly not looking for a tough showdown with either Witter or Harris, after being badly hurt by Demarcus Corley, what is the next option for Harris and Witter? It’s very simple, they need to take have confidence in their skills and face each other.
The winner of this fight will certainly be looked upon as a new major player in the division and can better demand the big money, big title fight.
Harris-Witter is clearly an intriguing possibility. Harris brings a record of 25-1-1 with 17 KOs to go along with his WBA belt. His only loss came in 2000 when Ray Oliveira presented an awkward style for the power and boxing skills of Harris. Since then, Harris has ran off 9 straight wins, notably defeating Diobelys Hurtado for the WBA title, and two consecutive title defenses against Otkay Urkal, both in Germany. However, Harris feels he’s already done enough to deserve the big money fight against the big names of the division.
Harris reportedly has already turned down a shot at Hatton.
Witter brings an impressive record of 31-1-2 with 19 KOs. His only loss comes at the hands of the now undisputed welterweight champ, Zab Judah. Since then, Witter has 16 straight wins with his last coming against tough Lovermore Ndou (Boxingtalk #17).
In all probability, Hatton, Tzsyu, Gatti, Mayweather, Cotto, the money, and the titles are all looking elsewhere, whether that be at each other, or at the division above them. However, if Harris was to defend his WBA title against a very deserving Witter, the fans would get a good fight that HBO and Showtime should televise, and the winner would become even more difficult to ignore.