Charles ‘The Killa’ Whittaker has been inspired by the quality of the world title fights he’s watched on TV in the past few weeks.
Joe Calzaghe outpointed Mikkel Kessler two weeks ago in a clash of unbeaten supermiddles that Welshman Calzaghe won in style. On Saturday there was an even bigger bout in Madison Square Garden when Miguel Cotto defended his WBA welterweight title against ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley, the former three-time champion. That was another superb bout with Cotto winning unanimously on points with Mosley, at 36, giving a great account of himself.
Cotto is likely to meet the winner of next month’s ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd Mayweather against Ricky ‘Hitman’ Hatton. Before that there’s the clash between ‘Ferocious’ Fernando Vargas and wild man Ricardo ‘El Matador’ Mayorga on 23 November, another bout guaranteed excitement.
Whittaker is in training for his next contest against world ranked fighter on an ESPN2 televised Friday Nights at the Fights show. He faces No.13 ranked Troy Browning in Key West, Florida on 18 January and will defend his WBO North American Boxing Organisation junior-middleweight belt.
The West Bay hero is back in training camp in Hollywood, Florida. Whittaker, 33, wants to be in the mix against the Cottos and Mayweathers of this world once he gets past Browning.
He said: ‘Cotto is definitely a pound-for-pound fighter. He is one hell of a fighter. It was a great fight, both fighters fought well. Even though Cotto won, I felt Mosley had done enough to get the decision. It was a great for boxing’s image. Mosley put on a tremendous performance. You can’t argue with his performance. Mosley’s got plenty left in his tank. He didn’t fight like a 36-year-old, he fought like a young man. I think Mayweather is going to beat Hatton but don’t know who will fight who next. I think Vargas will beat Mayorga.’
Whittaker sparred with Jesse Bodden when he was in Cayman two weeks ago and gave the Caribbean light-heavyweight a glowing tribute. Bodden, 25, is in training for a Muay Thai fight in Florida next month but boxing remains his prime focus with next year’s Beijing Olympics his target.
The next Olympic qualifying tournament is in Trinidad in March and the fearsome Cubans have announced they are attending because they missed the World Championships in October. The no-show came because two Cuban boxers tried to defect to America at the Pan Am Games in Brazil in July.
Bodden’s coach Nayon ‘Donie’ Anglin is not worried about the Cuban presence in Trinidad. He said: ‘Right now, it’s kinda hard to say if Jesse is going to go to Trinidad. I don’t know how many Cubans are in it but I just know that Jesse has a good chance and is getting prepared now. I think he just has to do the work, listen and follow instructions and he stands a good chance. He won’t go to Trinidad just for the experience. If he trains himself like he’s supposed to, I give him a good chance. I know he can do it, it’s up to him. If I can get some government support, I’d like to get him to Puerto Rico or Cuba for training for a couple of weeks in January. That’s when he’ll need to get intense.’