Boxing: Date with Hatton gives Witter extra incentive

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The Independent Online

Junior Witter has been given an incentive to beat DeMarcus Corley and win the World Boxing Council light-welterweight title next month - a showdown with his domestic rival Ricky Hatton.

Witter has been chasing Hatton for years and the fight has finally become a reality with Hatton's decision to revert to the 140lb division for an IBF title challenge to Juan Urango in December.

"There are a number of fights to whet your appetite at 140lb," Hatton's promoter, Dennis Hobson, said, "and I certainly would not discount a domestic fight with Junior Witter if he wins in style."

Hatton has made the decision to relinquish the last of his world title belts and move back down to the lighter weight following his WBA welterweight title win over Luis Collazo in May. Had he stayed at 147lb he would have been forced into an unappetising clash with Oktay Urkal but believes he can now benefit from any number of more attractive options.

First Hatton has to get past unbeaten Colombian Juan Urango in a fight which ought to be confirmed next week for 9 December in Atlanta. "Ricky is still the main man at light-welterweight whether he has got a title or not," Hobson said. "If he beats Urango and gets his title back there is any number of mouth-watering fights to be made."

Elsewhere, the WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev, of Russia, will defend his title against American Monte Barrett on 7 October at Illinois' Allstate Arena.

Valuev (44-0, 32 knockouts) took the title with a disputed decision over John Ruiz in Berlin last December. He then knocked out Jamaican challenger Owen Beck in the third round at Hanover, Germany, in June. Barrett (31-4, 17 KOs) has not fought since losing a unanimous 12-round decision to Hasim Rahman at the United Center in August 2005.

On the undercard WBC light heavyweight champion Tomasz Adamek of Poland will meet the main contender Paul Briggs in a rematch of their bout in Chicago in May 2005 when Adamek won the vacant belt with a 12-round decision.