On February 19th at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, former WBC Junior Welterweight world champion Junior “The Hitter” Witter (37-3-2, 22 KO’s), and Romanian-born Torontonian Victor Lupo (18-1-2, 9 KO’s) will both find themselves at forks in their respective roads when they meet up in an intriguing, and crucial, ten round clash.
“This is a classic crossroads-type of match-up,” said Adam Harris of Hennessy Sports Canada.
“Junior is looking to right the ship, and show he still belongs at an elite world level. While Lupo has the chance to really raise his standing in the sport, and show boxing fans that he deserves to take on the best in the business.”
“One guy needs this to reclaim his place, while the other needs it to live his dream. You can’t ask for a more important fight than that.”
Witter is no stranger to boxing’s promised land, having fought at a world championship level for the past 11 years, eventually capturing the WBC 140 lb. world title in September of 2006 with a 12 round unanimous decision over former world champion DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley.
Witter successfully defended the title twice, including a devastating seventh round knockout over another former world champion, “Vicious” Vivian Harris, one year into his reign. However, the sensational showing against Harris proved to be his last big win at the 140 lb. junior welterweight limit.
After an entire thirteen-year career fighting the world’s best at 140 lbs., Witter is more than ready for his February 19th welterweight debut against Lupo.
“It got to the point where just making the weight took it all out of me. Imagine getting into the ring with guys like Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander, and having nothing left? That’s what 140 was doing to me,” said Witter, who’ll be fighting for the first time since August of 2009.
“Now, instead of battling weight during camp, then dragging myself into the ring, I’m strong, refreshed and able to concentrate more on domination, and less on starvation.”
In spite of Witter’s championship pedigree, and new lease on life at 147 lbs., Lupo and his team don’t plan on meekly shuffling into the ring on February 19th, like a lamb to slaughter. They’re in this to make a statement of their own.
“We respect Witter for everything he’s accomplished. You don’t become a world champion by accident. You get to the top by being the best. So, clearly Witter is a heck of a fighter. If your only losses are to Bradley, Alexander, and (Zab) Judah, you’re pretty good” said Lupo’s trainer, the incomparable Chris Johnson.
“But I don’t train fighters to lose. When Victor steps into the ring, he’ll know he can win this fight. Victor is a great learner, and very adaptable. And he’s shown that he can fight too. You don’t luck into an 18-1-2 record.”
“At the end of the day, Victor’s fresher, hungrier and ready to seize the moment."