Junior hammers home message to America

SO, boxing folks over there in America, what do y'all make of Junior Witter now?

South Yorkshire's WBC world light-welterweight champion produced the show of a lifetime, last night, to retain his famous belt.

The Wincobank veteran showed the Yanks he can entertain, he has a sensational KO punch, is prepared take risks and has a strong chin.

Just as New York-based Vivian Harris looked like edging his way back into a fight he was desperately trailing, Witter hammered him emphatically into the bottom rope.

It was a resounding left to the chin in the seventh round, that immediately ended the contest.

A superb shot which even the most sceptical American audience would have to admire.

Last night's win at Doncaster Dome could now, at last, open up the money spinning overseas market that has so far eluded Witter.

"I hope so," said Witter. "You have to work hard to get to where I have and it is time I got proper recognition now."

His second WBC defence started low-key with both men planting their feet in the centre of the ring, nervously testing each other.

But when the early punches started being traded it was obvious Witter's were the quickest and the heaviest.

A big right hand to Harris's jaw in the second round had alarm bells going off in the American's corner.

It looked like Witter, so slick at minimising risk and attacking with fast hands from unlikely angles on the counter, was determined to finish it early.

He almost managed it in the fourth. The referee refused to count what looked like a clear knockdown but then was forced into an eight count when a savage left hook knocked Harris to the canvas. The former WBA champion rallied in the sixth and shaded the round. Witter took a couple of big blows to the face - yet shrugged it off.

And Harris, 29, lasted only a minute in the next round.

He was so concussed after 33-year-old Witter's final, colossal blow, that he struggled getting back across the ring, had difficulty sitting down and had to be aided climbing through the ropes and back to the sanctuary of his dressing room.

For Witter, who splits his time between living in Lane Top, Sheffield and Doncaster, it was his 36th win in 38 pro fights and probably his most memorable moment in the ring.