Boxing: Witter out to end five-year title wait

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The Independent Online

Junior Witter will find out tonight if his wait to win a world title has simply been too long when he meets the American DeMarcus Corley for the vacant World Boxing Council light-welterweight title at the Alexander Palace in London.

Witter has been a frustrated spectator at ringside for more than five years waiting patiently for his chance to win the sport's most respected championship. Sadly, there are too many boxers in recent British history who lost when their long-overdue chance came.

Corley is managed by Don King and formerly held a version of the world title but more alarmingly for Witter he is still a very serious fighter indeed.

However, both Witter and Corley have been out of the ring for nearly 12 months and that could be a crucial factor when the first bell sounds tonight because a boxer who has been inactive can often take a few rounds to get started. Not surprisingly both Witter and Corley insist that they will begin fast.

During the past three years Corley has lost to a trio of genuinely world-class fighters and it can be argued that tonight Witter will enter the ring as the underdog, but that seems to suit the often-avoided boxer from Bradford.

"This game is all about politics outside the ring and I have had to take my time and bite my tongue," said Witter, who has lost just once in 36 fights. "It will not be easy against Corley but that is how I want it. People are quick to criticise me so the only way to shut them up is to go out and do a job on one of the best."

Providing Witter can start faster than Corley and land cleanly in the early rounds it is possible that he will create a lead that the American will struggle to overturn.

However, if Corley starts to relax and enjoy himself there is every danger that he will simply do too much and win by a wide points decision.