Once validated by the governing body, the news will mean that the Bradford switch-hitter won’t have to wait for Mayweather to decide what division to campaign in after his welterweight fight against Zab Judah in April.
As the WBC’s #1 and mandatory contender he will now automatically be paired off against #2 Corley for the Championship providing the American – who has mixed with the world’s elite in a highly accomplished ten-year career – elects to take the fight.
“I would have happily fought Mayweather for the title, he is one of the biggest names in boxing, but this will mean I don’t have to hang around for anything,” Witter said on hearing the news. “Things are mapping themselves out nicely for me.
“I have the mandatory defence of my European title against Giuseppe Lauri in Italy in April, providing Salvatore Cerchi goes through with the purse bid for the fight, so I will be sharp for Corley. I should get my shot by the 1st July. The timing looks perfect.”
The Ingle trained ‘Hitter’ knows a bit about the highly regarded Corley who holds wins over former WBO champion Ener Julio, former WBA champion Randall Bailey and Felix Flores, whom he beat in June 2001 to claim the WBO title. He made two successful defences before losing a split decision to Zab Judah in July 2003.
The 31-year-old from Washington has also taken Mayweather the distance and last year challenged Miguel Cotto for his WBO title. Whilst the Puerto Rican won in 5, the stoppage was disputed and came after a real war during which he rocked the champion.
“I have seen a few of Corley’s fights on tape,” the 32-year-old Witter added. “I was down to fight him once when he had the WBO title and although it never came about, I took a look at him. He’s a decent fighter, but he doesn’t scare me at all. I see opportunities. He’s going down.
“He’s a boxer, not a brawler; a thinking fighter. In the Mayweather fight I could see he was nervous about Mayweather’s speed. I am as fast as Mayweather and I hit harder. I fancy my chances of stopping him, even though the only other stoppage he has suffered (against Cotto) may not have been spot on.
“He showed in that fight he can hit as well. He’s a decent little puncher. I’m going to have to be on my game, but when I am on fire no-one can beat me.”
That is not Witter’s only warning for ‘Chop-Chop’. The former undefeated British, Commonwealth and European champion has promised to improve on his two recent performances, points wins over tough Ukrainian Andreas Kotelnik and domestic mandatory contender Colin Lynes.
“I was a bit flat in those fights,” he admitted. “But I struggled to motivate myself for them. No disrespect but I feel I have moved beyond these guys to the world stage now, I proved that by doing what I did against Lovemore N’Dou last February. I need something to get up for, like the WBC title. It is the biggest prize in the sport. With that on horizon, I am buzzing now.
“If Corley is thinking the guy from the last two fights is turning up he is in for a rude awakening. He can watch those fights as much as he wants, but that isn’t what he’s going to get.”
By securing the WBC light welterweight title, Witter would become Britain’s second current genuine world champion in the division. Despite his long-term domestic rivalry with IBF and WBA holder Ricky Hatton, however, he is still not convinced a marquee unification clash would take place.
“If we were both world champions I still don’t know if Hatton would face me, even though it would be the biggest fight in British Boxing history,” Witter continued. “All the time he was with Warren, he was saying that a fight against me was in his contract and that he wanted it, but it never happened.
“Now he has left Warren and appears to be more in control of his own career it still isn’t happening. He has been looking for an opponent for his May 13th date for ages. I was offered to his American broadcasters HBO and I hear they approved me, but I have been told that Hatton’s team said no, even though I am his most credible contender.
“I am number four with the WBA, number three with the IBF and number one with both the WBO and WBC. There is nobody else in the top five of every recognised governing body. I was the natural choice, but instead of taking me on and giving everyone the fight they want to see, he is looking elsewhere, apparently even in the welterweight division. From what I hear there is a shortlist of three: Curly, Larry and Moe.