Boxing: Witter claims world crown

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The Independent Online

In a quality fight that was far closer than the judges scored, Junior Witter won the vacant World Boxing Council light welterweight title against DeMarcus Corley at Alexandra Palace last night.

Witter, 32, has been a professional for 10 years and before last night's fight had lost just once but he is the type of fighter that only boxing's purest fans enjoy - but that could now change.

Last night he started as the underdog in a fight that neither boxer could afford to lose, if they wanted to continue fighting for more than just a few thousand pounds. Once the first bell rang, it was clear that the two normally defensive-minded fighters realised just how close one of them was to a dead-end street.

The action was fast and at times furious and by round six Witter, having hurt Corley several times, was in control but then he rather stupidly relaxed and allowed the American back into the fight.

Corley got on top but, thankfully, Witter's veteran trainer Brendan Ingle was able to get Witter motivated again for the final couple of rounds and, at the end, it looked like Witter had done enough to win by just a round or at best two.

However, the judges returned a unanimous verdict and two of them gave the decision to the Bradford fighter by six rounds which seemed totally absurd.

Witter, who was understandably moved to tears at the verdict, admitted that he will now try to make some serious money from his future fights.

One possible encounter is the long overdue domestic showdown with former triple world champion Ricky Hatton.