Mbaye: Come Out Of Hiding Hitman!

05.12.05 - Soulemayne M’Baye, the number one challenger to WBA World Light-Welterweight Champion Ricky Hatton, has ripped into the Hitman accusing him of being a chicken by using politics to avoid a showdown against him. Hatton, also the IBF Champion, won the WBA crown last month by beating Carlos Maussa but is likely vacate the title to take up the organisation's Super-Champion belt to avoid the hard-hitting Frenchman..

The 30-year-old from Paris, who won a WBA Final Eliminator last October with a win over previously unbeaten Andreas Kotelnik, believes he should have fought Maussa before Hatton and took his case to a New York court to protect his position. The judge allowed Maussa to defend his title against Hatton but ruled that the winner must fight M’Baye next.

M’Baye will intensify his campaign to get Hatton into the ring when he makes his British debut this Saturday on the undercard of the sold-out ExCeL show – headlined by Danny Williams v Audley Harrison - in an eight-round contest.

And he aims to show the public exactly why the Mancunian wants to dodge him.

“ It’s baffling because Hatton is a great fighter who has made fantastic achievements in the ring from his magnificent win over Kostya Tszyu and more recently Carlos Maussa to now avoid fighting me.” Stated M’Baye.

“ He has always said that he wants to fight the best and it seem to me that he is using his issues with Frank Warren as an excuse to not fight me,”

He added, “Whatever politics are going on behind the scene, he must realise that I am the number one challenger for the WBA title and am long overdue my opportunity, which I have worked hard for by beating Kotelnik,

“ In my eyes he is a chicken if he vacates the title – I want Hatton,”

“ I am a firm believer that fights and titles should be won and lost in the ring, not in a courtroom but if Hatton does not want to fight me then what other choice do I have to force him into the ring?”

With only one loss on his record, a points to defeat then WBA champ Vivian Harris in July 2003, M’Baye power-punching is evident with 17 knockouts in 31 wins - ten of them inside the first three rounds.

M’Baye uses his height, reach and fast footwork - developed from his Savate (French kickboxing) training - to full effect and reckons he has the style and conditioning to beat Hatton.

He continued, “I think that Hatton is a tough, strong, attacking fighter but when he comes up against me I will show that I have the style to beat him – easily,”

“ He is reckless and so open at times and I can expose him,”
“ His body punches won’t bother me either, I’ve been kicked with full on power to my mid-section during my days as a savate fighter and still use the same conditioning techniques to this day to develop my resistance to body shots,”

M’Baye finished by saying, “All I want is my chance at the title, I don’t care where the fight takes place Manchester or America, Ricky, prove to everyone that you are a real champion and fight me.”

Article posted on 05.12.2005

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