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Matt tells Craig Birch he can do something Ricky never managed


MATTHEW HATTON is determined that Saturday night will be the day he steps out of his brother’s shadow and does something his older sibling never did.


Ricky Hatton’s heroics in the ring are still etched into the minds of many boxing fans, after a storied career that saw him come close to becoming the undisputed best of his kind. Inevitably Matthew’s career has faded into the background, despite almost a decade in the ring and winning the European welterweight title last year.


But with Ricky’s all-but-retirement, the younger Hatton now has his time although the parallels with his brother just keep on coming – evidenced by his attempt to conquer the United States.


His big night Stateside will come on Saturday night at Anaheim’s Honda Center in California against Saul Alvarez and, with a win, Hatton will again become a name in homes worldwide.


Alavarez is his toughest test to date, an unbeaten world class fighter who has encountered little trouble in disposing of 35 straight opponents, 26 of which came inside the distance. But if Hatton can pull it off he will achieve something his brother never did – winning a full WBC world title.


He said, “There will only ever be one Ricky Hatton, he was a great fighter and the support he had from the fans was something, in my eyes, I don’t think I will ever see again in another British fighter.


“Ricky got to the top and that’s somewhere I have always wanted to be and if I can go out there and produce the upset and become WBC world champion, I might be able to put one over on him then!


“But, seriously, no one would be more proud than Ricky himself, as brothers go we are very close.


“In my opinion, Alvarez is better than a lot of the world champions that are out there at the moment, he’s a world-class fighter.


“He’s the best fighter I have been in there with but I think it’s likewise for him. I am the best opponent he will have faced.


“I am in good form at the minute, my confidence is high and I am improving all of the time, so now is as good a time as any to make that step up. This is my chance to prove myself on the world stage.


“It’s a massive challenge that has come at the perfect time for me and, all round, it’s a great opportunity.”


There’s healthy sibling rivalry between the Hattons but Matthew could do well to take a leaf out of Ricky’s book if he wants to come home as a world champion for the first time. The boxing world had practically written Ricky off for his IBF world title fight against Kostya Tszyu, but he ground him down and pulled off a famous win, which saw him arrive on the world stage. Just under five years later, Matthew has the chance to follow suit and prove he belongs in the ring with the best.


He said, “That’s partly the inspiration. Ricky was an underdog when he went into the Kostya Tszyu fight and a lot of people in general see me as the underdog going into this fight.


“But, when you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, I think that makes you very dangerous.


“People looking at it from the outside might see me as an underdog, but I am not going out there to play a bit-part role and there’s no doubt in my mind that I can win.


“The plan is to drag him into a fight, I will ask him some questions that he hasn’t been asked before and hopefully my dedication and determination will tilt the scales in my favour.


“That could be the deciding factor in this fight, because I do believe we are evenly matched.”



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