Witter lands WBC Title in an unspectacular affair

By Dean Moston @ Ringside


Witter lands WBC Title in an unspectacular affair

After knockout predictions from both boxers in the run up to this vacant WBC Light Welterweight Title fight, the only people left sleeping at its conclusion were many in the crowd. While it thankfully wasn’t the out and out stinker some had feared, it was generally not a pretty sight to behold.

Take nothing away from Witter: he deserved the win – using his guile and crafty skills to consistently get the better of Corley and also hurting him in the fifth, sixth and eighth rounds to take a unanimous verdict 117-111, 118-112,116-113.

Corley, for his part, was a big disappointment and only had limited success despite the fact that Witter’s chin was wide open during some of the exchanges. He couldn’t fathom Witter’s style at all - a confusion shared by many at ringside - and never looked like taking the belt away with him.

In the opening round both fighters looked tentative, reaching with the occasional shot. Witter, tapping out little punches loaded up clumsily a couple of times from the outside. Corley did next to nothing. This pattern continued in round two to have the crowd getting restless.

Round three was Witter’s as he finally settled and caught Corley neatly with hooks and uppercuts whilst on the retreat – a pattern that was to continue throughout the fight. He deliberately tumbled Corley to the floor, but looked anxious at the end of the round.

Witter began showing out in the fourth, raising his glove to try and draw his man in. Corley replied by winging long punches, but they were easily read by Witter, who moved his head just enough out of harm’s reach. Both fighters were still nervy – rushing their attacks then clinching, both unwilling to work in close other than with token taps to the body until the Italian referee would break them. At the bell Corley nodded like he had worked something out, but if he had it wasn’t apparent in the action.

The fight caught fire in the fifth with Corley starting faster and landing a good right hook. Witter just wanted to mess as the two fell in close. Corley again landed a good straight left and Witter this time suddenly came alive with a right hand to have the American’s legs wobbling in the middle of the ring. Witter jumped on his man but only succeeded in bundling him to the canvas. When the action resumed, Corley tried to come back but Witter easily got the better of things, doubling up his heavier shots to take the round by a mile and finally give the fans something to shout about.

Despite a scrappy opening Witter took the sixth, making Corley miss with his wide shots then countering with uppercuts to the chin and landing a good straight right to the head. The jab of Witter landed for perhaps the first time in the bout and another hard right had Corley nodding his respect. Corley tried to come back and stand his ground, but didn’t have an answer to Witter’s accuracy and unexpected angles.

The seventh opened with a bizarre stand off which seemed to last a good ten seconds – both fighters frozen to the spot like statues. When jeers finally provoked some action, Witter landed with a right hook-cum-uppercut. The round played out uneventfully, both having their successes, Witter edging it with his better intent.

Despite more posturing, Witter thankfully put some needle in his work in the eighth, landing good left hooks to have Corley’s legs dipping again while skilfully avoiding Corley’s replies by ducking low.

Corley kept trying the right hook in the ninth and tenth, but again Witter got the better of things with well-timed uppercuts and hooks. The fight had settled into a disappointing tempo, with neither boxer attempting to vary the pace. At times it was hard to believe this was a world title fight, such was the lack of urgency displayed by both men. By round eleven Corley’s output was appalling - Witter was winning simply because he was throwing punches.

Witter called Corley on verbally to start the last round, but the action failed to raise the blood – the brief exchanges were rushed and lacked any real commitment. Both men looked so fresh at the final bell you would be forgiven for thinking that the fight was due to go another twelve rounds.

Both fighter’s camps raised their men round the ring at the bell, but the winner was never in doubt. Witter may finally have his reward at aged 32, but the real struggle will be securing him a big payday any time soon. Whilst the hardcore fan may enjoy the off-kilter tactics Witter is able to employ in a boxing ring, American TV networks will be unlikely to bat an eyelid on the strength of this performance.

Other action
Harrow’s Darren Barker took the Southern Area Middleweight Title on a workaday points victory over Paddington’s Hussain Osman. Osman looked hurt after a difficult last round and seemed to vomit into the spit bucket after the fight.

John Murray widely outscored Moebi Sarouna to keep his WBC Youth Lightweight Title but sustained a badly bruised eye in doing so.

Andrew Singh Kooner, the Canadian Sikh got iced by Shinny Bayar in the third round. This deflated his vociferous family and supporters, who had apparently had a good go at drinking the bar dry before the fight. Perhaps they knew something.

“Big in Albania” Kreshnick Qato will have no doubt delighted his fans back home, where this fight was being televised live, with a points victory over Simeon Cover at Light Heavyweight.


Send questions and comments to: dean@deanmoston.co.uk