Matthew Hatton bids to show he’s a world class welterweight when he makes the first defence of his European title next month. ‘Magic’ Matthew (39-4-2) will face mandatory contender, Yuriy Nuzhnenko (30-1) at Bolton Arena on Friday July 16. Hatton, 29, the brother of Ricky Hatton, is one of the most improved fighters in the division and proved that by winning the title when he outpointed Gianluca Branco in March.
Matthew said: “If I beat Nuzhnenko I will have proved I belong in world class and nobody can say I don’t deserve a world title fight.
“There can’t be any prouder European champion than me, but I am itching to move on and challenge some of the division’s superstars.”
Promoter Ricky Hatton added: “This is a tough fight for Matthew, but he has come on a bundle since Bob Shannon started training him.
“It is an ambition to promote him in a world title fight inside the next year. I can’t think of anything that would give me more pleasure.”
Ukrainian Nuzhnenko is a former WBA interim champion, with his only setback coming on points in a world title fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko in April 2009.
He has won two fights since then and displayed the form that has made him one of the world’s best welterweights.
Another title fight on the bill sees St Helens Martin Murray challenge for the vacant Commonwealth middleweight title. Other hot Hatton Promotions fighters in action include Commonwealth light-middleweight king Craig Watson, Kieran Maher and Rhys Roberts.
Tickets: £30, £50, £75 (ringside) and £90 (VIP Ringside) Call Box Office on 0161 775 7500