Former WBC light-welterweight champion Junior Witter, it seemed was taking a couple of rounds to shake off the ring rust in his comeback fight this weekend in Canada against Victor Lupo. But bit time he could settle into any rhythm, Lupo stalked, pushed pulled and punched his way to a surprise upset win over ten rounds, in an absolute stinker of a fight that has Witter’s career now hanging in the balance.
Witter, fighting at welterweight for the first time, after being out of the ring since August 2009, used all his usual slips and tricks to keep the Canadian based Romanian off balance. But the fight turned into a messy affair with holding from both. With heads bumping together and both fighters warned on several occasions to tidy up the action, it was Lupo who was the more willing to set the pace and take the fight to a disappointing Witter, who looked a shadow of his former slick self.
Lupo, proved to be a real handful for Witters comeback and in rounds 5 and 6 he threw Witter to the floor in frustration while rabbit punching him in the process.
This certainly wasn’t a fight for the purists but Lupo’s sheer work rate and driving spirit, pushed Witter all the way and had the Bradford man feeling the pace by the midway stage and he was made to ship the odd big punch from Lupo. Witter tried to use his jab to keep Puiu at bay but he was content to throw a shot and then tie his opponent up. It was an awful fight to watch!
In the 7th and 8th round Witter again was wrestled to the canvas and hit on the way down, but it was Witters holding that was causing the lack of balance as Lupo tried to break free.
Frustration was beginning to set in as the crowd got restless and began to show it with boos, again Witter tangling up Lupo and then tripped over again!
The ref had wiped Witters gloved that much in-between falls that I’m surprised the mirror finish wasn’t blinding Lupo, who pushed and hurried ‘The Hitter’ into an uncomfortable position he couldn’t do anything about.
The 9th round saw Witter down twice again from wrestling moves and then deducted a point for the constant holding, which fired on Lupo to charge the former world champion some more, throwing him completely out of sync from the boxer we knew from a few years back.
It was now an absolute joke of a fight and not the comeback that Witter could have foreseen as the contest began to slip away from him and the home fighter sensed that this could be his night and didn’t stop his charge until the final bell.
Lupo eventually won over 10 rounds with the judges scores reading 95-95 – 97-92 and 96-94 a majority verdict, the judges cards portraying how hard a fight this was to score. But Lupo deserved the win and the claims the vacant WBC Silver International title that was at stake.
In-fact to add more confusion to the fight afterwards the fight was announced a unanimous decision! looking like the first judge who had it a draw had forgotten to deduct a point from Witters total.
Well Witter could have picked a much easier comeback than this after his time out of the ring. Up a weight and fighting in Canada, Lupo’s back yard. Lupo also looked in good shape and up for his big chance against the former champion of the world, taking it with both hands and leaving Witter in the lurch.
It was not nice seeing the one time slickster going out like this and it is difficult to see where he goes from here now, although domestically he could well still be a draw, But it looks like Junior Witter will never be the fighter he was.