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Saturday, 23 November, 2002, 21:55 GMT
Witter eyes title shot
Witter celebrates victory over Giuseppe Lauri
Junior Witter was too good for his Italian opponent
British and Commonwealth light welterweight champion Junior Witter closed in on a world title shot with a stunning second round win over Italy's Giuseppe Lauri in Derby.

In a final eliminator for the WBO crown held by American DeMarcus Corley, Witter powered to an impressive victory without taking a meaningful punch.

Lauri had won 10 straight since losing in five rounds to Manchester's WBU kingpin Ricky Hatton in September, 2000.


It's a case of speed, power and accuracy and I've got them all
Junior Witter

But he looked to be lacking in confidence from the first bell as Witter bossed the proceedings.

A vicious right upper-cut from the Sheffield fighter sent his opponent sprawling back onto the ropes half way through the opening round.

And when he followed up with an array of left and right hooks Lauri had no option but to touch down.

A right hook from Witter had the Italian down again just a minute into round two and this time referee Mickey Vann stopped the contest as Lauri showed no willingness to continue.

"It went the way I thought it would," said Witter after the fight.

"I was too big and too strong for him. It's a case of speed, power and accuracy and I've got them all."

Although Corley beckons for Witter, the fighter urged promoter Frank Warren to set up a contest against Ricky Hatton.

"I want the fight (against Hatton) in January. It's Ricky's chance to put up or shut up," he said.

It was a 10th successive stoppage win for Witter since going down on points to then IBF champion Zab Judah just over two years ago.

A crack at Corley now beckons for Witter and then he can move on to a lucrative showdown with Hatton.


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