Matthew Hatton's High Stakes Vegas Gamble

18.01.07 - Matthew Hatton will join older brother Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas this weekend, taking on troubled journeyman Frank Houghtaling in a twelve round clash for the IBF International Welterweight title at the Paris Hotel on Saturday night. Since becoming a professional fighter in 2000, 25 year old Matthew Hatton has toiled in the shadow of his celebrated older brother Ricky Hatton but the welterweight from Manchester is hoping that his bout with Houghtaling will grab some of the family limelight..

"This is the biggest fight of my career," said Hatton. "It's fantastic for me to be fighting for the IBF International title in Las Vegas and I can't wait. There have been British world champions who haven't had the opportunity to box in Las Vegas, so for me to box there at this stage of my career is absolutely fantastic. I couldn't be looking forward to it any more than I am".

Coming off a series of bouts last year that ran the gamut between a close contest in Boston, a controversial disqualification loss during a British title eliminator and a useful outing just five week ago, the younger Hatton brother feels well prepared for his Las Vegas debut.

"My last fight was a good workout for me, really and it was good to get back in the ring after what happened in the British title eliminator against Alan Bosworth," he said. "Fighting again was a little bit of a risk, to be honest, taking the fight with a big bill in Vegas coming up so soon but I was very disappointed after the Alan Bosworth fight. My family, my trainer Billy Graham and I all thought that it was good to get back in the ring, get back on the winning track and put everything behind me".

Facing an opponent with so little to lose, Matthew Hatton is taking no chances and has prepared for a long, hard fight. Trainer Billy Graham, who along with strength coach Kerry Kayes, father/manager Ray Hatton and agent Paul Speak, make up the support team of both fighting Hatton brothers, is convinced that the younger Mancunian is destined to emerge victorious from this weekend in Vegas.

"Matthew has improved a lot over the last year," assessed Graham, "He's a good, awkward fighter who gives opponents a lot of problems and he wants a step up fight; he wants this kind of challenge. He's very good over long distances because he's got incredible stamina. If Houghtaling comes to fight, it will bring the best out in Matthew and I'm convinced he'll be bringing the belt back to England".

Dennis Hobson/Fight Academy and Banner Promotions, in association with Top Rank, Inc., present Ricky Hatton vs. Juan Urango for the IBF and IBO Light Welterweight Championship of the world on January 20, 2007 at the Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. HBO World Championship Boxing will televise live in the US starting at 10PM ET/7PM ET. SKY Box Office broadcasts live in the UK beginning at 22:00 GMT. Tickets can be purchased by logging onto or calling the Paris Box Office at 1-888-727-4758.

Article posted on 18.01.2007

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