Hatton fight granted WBC belt status

Thu, 17 Feb 13:10:00 2011

Matthew Hatton's bout with Mexican Saul Alvarez has been granted WBC light-middleweight title status.

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Current holder Manny Pacquiao forfeited the title when he chose to return to a lower weight, welterweight, to fight Shane Mosley.

The president of Golden Boy promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, petitioned the WBC to put up their belt - and that bid has proven successful.

The pair fight on March 5 in Anaheim, California. No.1 contender Alvarez, unbeaten after 36 contests, will be the stiffest test of Hatton's career, but the brother of former world champion Ricky says he is ready for his chance.

"It's fantastic news - I had the confirmation yesterday (Wednesday). I felt like cracking the champagne open!" he said.

"But I'm in training at the minute so I had to knock that on the head.

"Manny is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and one of the best that has ever been so (the fact that it is his old belt) makes it even more special. Boxing people regard the WBC belt as the main title out there.

"I accepted this fight seven weeks ago and knew what I was up against, stepping up in weight against Saul Alvarez - my bravery has been rewarded with this opportunity.

"I've been training hard and working on a gameplan: Alvarez is an excellent young fighter.

"But I'm not going out there to make up the numbers or pick up a pay-cheque - I want to be the world champion and am confident I can do that."


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