Junior Witter might not be world title material any more - but write him off at your peril, says trainer Dominic Ingle.
Witter is boxing again on September 17 as he tries to put behind him a string of defeats which has seen him fall from being WBC light welterweight champion to a 37-year-old with a reputation in need of a re-build.
Sheffield-based Witter ruled his weight division for two years until his fall from the pinnacle.
And while he may no longer be at the top of his game, Ingle says he still has something to offer.
“Junior would look at any fight that comes along, hopefully if he wins on the 17th (v local fighter Stephen Haughian at King’s Hall, Belfast) it will put him back into contention. There are some interesting fights out there for him, maybe Matthew Hatton or Lee Purdy somewhere down the line.
“Maybe he is not going to get the chance to get his world title back, he’s too old, but he is still fresh for a 37-year-old and still trains like he always has.
“Junior had to wait a long time until he got his world title, he was 32 when he won it and it would have been better for him if he’d won it at a younger age. Boxers at this age either pack it in or love the sport so much they want to carry on, and that is what Junior feels.
“Now, it is a case of picking his way through the younger guys who are coming up.”
Asked how Witter compared with stablemate and world-champion-in the-making Kell Brook at this moment, Ingle said: “Kell is at his peak at 25 while Junior is past his so you cannot really compare. In all the years both have been coming to our gym I think they will have open-sparred only three times or so, I have rarely let them at each other.
“Each knows each other’s style too well and when that happens a sparring session normally turns into a punch up in which more damage than good can be done and we don’t want that.” In June, Witter lost to Yassine El Maachi in the Prizefighter tournament. Before that series, he was beaten in four out of his previous five.
Timothy Bradley deprived him of his WBC belt in 2008 at Nottingham. Bradley remains unbeaten and currently has that belt and the WBO version, having beaten Devon Alexander, who has also beaten Witter.
The Sheffield welterweight will be hoping to record his 40th win in a 47 career in Belfast.