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I can still here the chant in my head..

“There’s only one Ricky Hatton,
One Ricky Hatton,
Walking along,
Singing this song,
Walking in a Hatton wonderland.”

It is infectious, catchy and loud. Really, really loud ,with a distinct English accent. How could it not stick in your head? And then it’s gone. Dead silent. The loud chants die as Ricky Hatton fell on the cold canvass of the MGM Grand Arena courtesy of a devastating left hook to his chin by Manny Pacquiao. And there was nothing after that as Ricky’s career went into a long hiatus following that knock out. Now comes Matthew, James Hatton. Ricky’s younger brother. He isn’t new to the game. He quietly has amassed a record of 41 wins against 4 losses and 2 draws. Most of it is fought in the under cards of brother Ricky’s main event fights. He has the British and European welterweight belts under his waist and has even defended the latter twice both on his native homeland. But this Saturday in Anaheim California is undoubtedly his biggest fight. A fight against an up and coming prospect who is being groomed as the next boxing superstar who plans to have his coming out party this Saturday on cable boxing via HBO nonetheless. And Matthew Hatton is willing to crash it.

Matthew Hatton knows he is being laid as a stepping stone for Saul Alvarez’ ascend to boxing stardom.. The 20 year old fighter from Jalisco, Mexico who according to Golden Boy promotions president Oscar De la Hoya “could be the next superstar in boxing”. A thing Matthew does not particularly mind. Because he knows that this could also very well be his own coming out party. “ This is a fantastic opportunity for me, and opportunity means nothing if you don’t take advantage of it,” Hatton said during the final press conference held Wednesday in Anaheim California. This indeed is an opportunity to step out of the shadows of his bigger, much accomplished brother. An opportunity to come on his own as a boxer on his very first fight in America where he enjoys top billing. But most of all, an opportunity to come out a world champion.

The fight which was recently sanctioned by the WBC is for its junior middleweight belt. The belt that Manny Pacquiao just won in November of last year via a unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito. A title Pacquiao has no plans of defending thus ending to it being vacant. Despite the outrage regarding the way the belt was instantly incorporated in the fight. It is nonetheless a world title. A title that is an extra motivation for Matthew Hatton come fight night. “Again, It just makes me even more motivated to come over and win this fight. For me, (it’s my) childhood dream of becoming a world champion, so I’m excited about it. I’m in great shape already. So, that’s fantastic news”.

It will indeed be fantastic if he comes through this Saturday. Not only for himself but for the Hatton family as a whole. It will be a nice breath of air for them following Ricky’s loss in 2009 coupled with his recent scandals in the news. “ The Hattons have had some great times here ( US ) and hopefully we’ll have another one on Saturday.” quipped Ricky . This time the load will be on Matthew’s shoulders though and not Ricky’s. The boxer nicknamed “Magic” will try to create his own brand of magic that night and if he is successful then off to Hatton wonderland they go again. And maybe the chant will be heard once again , this time though with Matthew Hatton’s name on it.

Top photo: Mexican boxing phenom and top rated contender Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, President of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar de la Hoya and European Champion Matthew Hatton pose on March 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California at the final press conference for Alvarez and Hatton’s March 5, 2011 fight for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title at Honda Center in Anaheim, California which will be broadcast live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark. Photo by Gene Blevins - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rich Mazon .

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