Junior Witter is obsessed with a potential fight against Amir Khan, so much so that I think he's flat-out underestimating Devon Alexander, his opponent this Saturday on Showtime. Witter has been talking about fighting Khan almost non-stop since Khan's win over Andriy Kotelnik on July 18, and predicting a win for himself within three rounds.
The last time Witter faced a rising young American, it was Timothy Bradley, who wound up beating him on his own turf. Bradley will main event on Saturday against Nate Campbell. I don't think Alexander is quite as good now as Bradley was then, but I'm also not certain about that. The fact of the matter is that whatever Alexander lacks in big fight experience, he makes up for in hand speed. He's one of the fastest guys out there. I can honestly see him winning a pretty wide decision against Witter if Junior isn't on his game.
Witter says the fight he wants most is a rematch with Bradley, but also name checks Campbell, Khan again, and old press rival Ricky Hatton, although he also says he's "washed his hands" of a potential fight with Hatton: "Realistically, he's not going to fight me," he says, catching up to what everyone else knew five years ago.
I don't dislike Junior Witter at all. I think he's a good fighter -- better than he's sometimes given credit for -- and I always said that I'd have picked him over Hatton because I thought he was a perfect style to beat Hatton. But if he loses to Alexander, there aren't a whole lot of places to go besides domestic fights. He's 35 years old and not getting younger.
As for Alexander, there's a nice piece on him at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch featuring trainer Kevin Cunningham, and their longtime connection with Cory Spinks, who Cunningham said has been invaluable in training for this fight:
"I studied a couple of fights on Junior Witter," Alexander said. "He's a good veteran fighter, but he's not doing anything I haven't seen. Cory (Spinks) is actually better than him and I've been sparring Cory since I was an amateur. He's a good fighter, I'm not taking nothing from him ... it's going to be a good fight. But I'm going to stay humble and do what I do. You guys are going to see more than what I've been doing in the ring."
Cunningham said that when Witter was named Alexander's next opponent, their connection with Spinks became more useful. Over the past seven weeks, Spinks has been Alexander's main sparring partner.
"Cory has been an extremely big help for this particular fight," Cunningham said. "Spinks and Witter have a similar style. They're both kind of awkward and tricky and clever ... so it's been huge having Cory."
- The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, CA did a short piece on Nate Campbell and his connections with Arturo Gatti and Vernon Forrest: "Arturo was the first guy I asked for an autograph. Vernon was the first big-time boxer I met personally." There's also a story in there about Campbell and trainer Terry Trekas chasing down a purse-snatcher, which Campbell says he'd do again even after what happened to Forrest.