By Craig Watt
Welterweight Matthew “Magic” Hatton (37-4-2, 14 KOs) took time out today to catch up with Fightnews about his plans for 2010 and in particular recent media reports that he was a potential future opponent for Floyd Mayweather Jr after the proposed March 13th fight with Manny Pacquiao fell through. He told Fightnews, “The discussions about the Mayweather fight came about around four weeks ago when Gareth Williams (CEO Hatton Promotions) told me that he had been talking to Richard Schaefer from Golden Boy Promotions and that Floyd was potentially going to come to the UK in 2010 and fight and that if he did then my name was at the top of their list as a potential opponent. My response was undoubtedly ‘Yes’ and my trainer Lee Beard spoke with Leonard Ellerbe about the fight also. It was not just media speculation.”
“However that was four weeks ago and now it seems that Floyd will fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in March and not the UK so it appears the fight is now unlikely to take place. Nothing further has been mentioned to myself or Gareth from Team Mayweather since. I think it’s unlikely to happen but shows I am prepared to test myself with the best fighters in the world. I am not afraid to share the ring with such a top champion like Floyd Mayweather.”
The 28 year Hatton’s immediate priority is to try and secure a rematch with Australian IBO 147 pound champion Lovemore N’dou with whom “Magic” Hatton fought a controversial draw in the UK in November 2009.
“I want a re-match with Lovemore N’dou and I am prepared to travel to Australia or South Africa to meet him. I was devastated after that loss in November but I have picked myself back up and am now back in training – I hope to have a warm-up fight in February and then hopefully then a return with Lovemore.”
“He knows that I won that fight and he was lucky to retain his title. The TV commentators in the UK, Glenn McCrory had me winning by three rounds and Johnny Nelson by five rounds. I took the fight to N’dou and he seemed to try and spoil the fight as a spectacle. If you look at the punch stats I landed more than 90 punches than him in the fight – I was devastated that the IBO judges didn’t see it the same.”
“I don’t get involved with trash talk or mouthing off but I do know I have his number and will win in a re-match, indeed I am confident I can knock him out – so much so I will come to either Australia or his home country of South Africa for the fight. I hope his promoter Rodney Bergman is reading this.”
It was a close fight with N’dou and the judges had it 115-114 for each fighter with the final judge seeing the fight 114-114 in a surprising decision that saw the IBO 147 pound champion retain his title.
Hatton continued, “I did make some technical mistakes in that fight which we have been working on in the gym and he did surprise me when I expected him to come after me but instead held back and so I had to re-adjust and be the aggressor. I fell into my rhythm and thought I clearly won the fight. Indeed, at the end of the 11th round N’dou’s promoter Rodney Bergman went over to my father Ray and brother Ricky and said that Matthew only has to stay on his feet to win the title. That proves to me that N’dou was lucky to get the decision! Even his own team thought I was winning the fight.”
“Considering N’dou called me a ‘Donkey’ in the build up to the fight I thought, I came out with more credibility than him and my boxing value has increased whilst his has fallen – I am offering him a chance to redeem himself and test himself again.”
Hatton is likely to return to the ring in February 2010 in a warm up fight and he has also been offered a chance to fight for the European 147 pound title, taking on the winner of the upcoming fight between Italian Gianluco Branco and Russian Yuriy Nuzhnenko on February 19th in Italy.
Overall it promises to be a big boxing year for welterweight Matthew Hatton in 2010 that could see him rise further up the world rankings at 147 pounds.