It has been announced that former WBC Light-Welterweight, British, European and Commonwealth champion Junior Witter will make the maiden defence of the prestigious Lonsdale belt against Birmingham’s rising star Frankie Gavin on 1st November at London's York Hall.
The 38 year old Witter, who captured the British Welterweight title against former conquest Colin Lynes at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre in Sheffield earlier this year is a contemporary of the charismatic Mancunian Ricky Hatton and has always been interested in fighting "The Hitman" but was never given the chance to do so.
Witter faced some of the best fighters in the Light-Welterweight and Welterweight divisions since turning professional back in 1997 with a draw against the Canadian Cameron Raeside.
In just his 17th professional fight, back in 2000, Witter suffered his first loss as he got a surprise world title shot against the American southpaw Zab Judah at Hampden Park in 2000 on a bill that saw Mike Tyson controversially dispatch Lou Savarese in just one round.
After this first crack at a world title, Witter would win go on to win the British title in 2002, defeating Alan Bosworth in just three rounds and then, in his following bout, stopped the Ghanaian Laatekwei Hammond in just two rounds to add the Commonwealth title to his collection.
In 2004, Witter clinched European honours at the Ice Arena in Nottingham against the Italian Salvatore Battaglia with yet another second round stoppage before securing victory in a WBO eliminator against the tough but yet durable Lovemore N’Dou.
Witter then successfully defended his European crown against future world titlist Andrei Koltenik of Ukraine before defending all three titles against the Londoner Colin Lynes, at York Hall in Bethal Green in 2005.
In 2006, Witter would get his second crack at the world title, this time for the WBC portion of the belt against the American DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley at the Alexandra Palace in London.
In a 12 round contest against the skillful and durable American former world title holder, Witter dominated Corley to finally clinch his much awaited prize before embarking on a brief reign, defeating the Mexican Arturo Morua and former World champion Vivian Harris prior to being dethroned by the then rising American star Timothy Bradley at the Nottingham Arena in 2008.
Following this loss, Witter defeated Victor Hugo Castro of Argentina before losing his next two fights, which included an eight round retirement loss to the American Devon Alexander after falling miles behind on the cards and then losing a 10 round contest to the Romanian Victor Lupo Puiu.
At almost 37 years of age, it appeared that the end had finally come for the man christened "The Hitter", but he then went on to finish as runner up at Prizefighter to Yassine al Maachi in 2011.
During Prizefighter, Witter defeated prospect Nathan Graham and former British champion Kevin McIntyre before losing on points in the final to Al Maachi. After a minor six round points win, Witter gained his crack at the British title this past May, dethroning Colin Lynes.
Witter is an experienced an awkward switch hitter with decent dig, footwork and ring nous and will provide Gavin his toughest test thus far in his 13 fight professional career.
Since turning professional, southpaw Gavin has been working his way up the domestic ladder with his stand out wins being a 12 round points verdict over former British champion Young Mutley for a minor WBO trinket, a third round stoppage win against Kevin McIntyre and a seventh round TKO against former British title challenger Michael Lomax.
Gavin has attracted considerably interest for his great technical ability, fast hands and strong body punching style, which could be effective in slowing Witter down before landing his heavy handed shots, which have helped Gavin generate a considerable interest and following.
In this writer's eyes, it is without doubt one of the toughest domestic fights to pick as both men offset each other. Witter has experience at a higher level on his side, while Gavin has power and youth and height on his side.
A defeat for either man would carry different consequences; For Gavin, it would be a damaging setback for his fledgling professional career yet he would still be young enough to come around again. For Witter, a loss would almost certainly spell the end of his long and decorated career, but that aside, this is a real tough pick 'em fight that everyone within the trade will have opinions about, but with no real consensus.