The next time he saw Ryan was when the pair met and produced what is remembered as an amateur classic in Yorkshire.
After the loss to Rhodes, Junior was so impressed with him and the job that Brendan Ingle and his son Dominic had done, turning Rhodes into a slick boxer with good skills and style, from the stiff stocky kid he remembered. Junior believed that if they could do that with Rhodes then they could do it with him and after the blessing and advice from his amateur coach Alec Allen, Junior joined the Ingle gym in Sheffield.
He had his first fight at the Green Bank Leisure Centre in Derbyshire, against local based Canadian Cameron Raeside, it ended in a disappointing draw for the new pro, but never a setback in the mind of Junior.
He scored his first win as a professional in his next fight in the March, travelling to Yarm to beat John Green over six rounds. Five more wins that year ending 1997 with a record of 6-0-1. Witters started 1998 in the same way he had his debut year as a pro; a draw against Birmingham’s Mark Ramsey over six rounds.
Junior didn’t let the glitch get him down and was back in the ring three and half weeks later to outpoint Brian Coleman, before going in a month later in the April, on a late call up against the very capable former world champion Jan Piet Bergman from South Africa. Junior baffled Bergam over six rounds taking the decision. That win over Bergman really shown the capabilities of this Ingle gym fighter, who wore all the signs and switch hitting bravado of the Winkobank Sheffield boys, under the guidance of Sheffield based Irish coach and father figure, Brendan Ingle, one of the Godfathers of British Boxing.
Bergman had only lost once in 35 fights, it was only Juniors 10th outing, 8 wins and 2 draws, proof that early career setbacks and tough tests, will stand a fighter in good stead in the future, when the hard fights and tough grounding really matters. It was meant to be a routine night for Bergam, Junior breezed it.
|The dream comes true for Junior – New WBC world light-welterweight champion|
Eighteen fights and eighteen wins since losing to Zab Judah in 2000 Witter had finally achieved the pinnacle of his career so far a via a points decision, judges scores read 119-111, 118-112 and 117-113 unanimously in favour of Witter. During the fight he had frustrated, taunted and confounded Corley to defeat. From the first round Witter had switched stances constantly and Corley just couldn’t suss Junior out.
“My elbow went in round four. Junior said afterwards. “I battled through for a few rounds but I couldn’t keep doing it. I wasn’t able to box the way I wanted to and I decided it was time to let it go. It was a mutual agreement with my corner. As much as I wanted to do it, I just wasn’t able to. It wasn’t that I wanted to quit, because I knew I could win. I just wasn’t there on the night. I don’t think it’s my last fight but I’ve got to decide where I go now. I need to get away for a bit and let my injuries heal.”