Ricky Hatton’s career nemesis has claimed Floyd Mayweather went up a division, rather than face him in a World Boxing Council mandated fight.
Junior Witter, who called Hatton out unsuccessfully for more than a decade, was scheduled to face Mayweather as the number one welterweight contender.
The Yorkshire man is sure Mayweather just didn’t fancy the job and decided to vacate the title instead.
That left Witter in pole position to face an old Mayweather opponent. ‘The Hitter’ would then battle DeMarcus Corley instead.
Airing his views on the matter, Witter recalled to the Wakefield Express: “The WBC title was a whole different level of achievement and that is the one people remember me for.
“It took so long to get there. I was the mandatory (challenger) for a year.
“I should have boxed Mayweather. That was the fight I wanted. He moved up in weight and he didn’t have to fight me.
“He wasn’t the fighter he has been in the last five or so years. But he was still one of the biggest names in boxing.
“It was a fight I looked at and thought I had a very good chance of winning it. Styles make fights, and knowing how I boxed and how he boxes, it suited me brilliantly and I think that is why the fight didn’t happen.
“They probably looked at it and thought it was too much of a risk for too little gain, so he moved up.”
On his defining night against Corley in the UK, Witter added: “I won the WBC title against DeMarcus Corley. It was surreal.
“He was a former world champion himself and was fighting as the favorite. That night I just performed again.
“It wasn’t the most entertaining fight, it was more of a technical battle.
“That feeling was second to none because that was a true achievement. That was the night it all came together.”
Witter retired in 2015 and has since become a trainer. But the Mayweather fight wasn’t the only one to get away from him.
The Hatton affair rumbled on for years in the public domain. Getting ugly at times, Hatton later admitted he wanted the fight, but the risk also out-weighed the reward.