HATTON PROMOTIONS have won the purse bids to stage Sergey Rabchenko’s European light-middleweight title defence against official challenger Cedric Vitu.
Rabchenko, who is also ranked as the WBC’s number one contender, beat the tough Frenchman by split decision on the undercard of trainer Ricky Hatton’s comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester last November.
But he’ll be looking to win more decisively this time and press towards a world title opportunity.
For obvious reasons, Hatton could only spend a limited amount of time working with Sergey before that fight and was unable to work his corner on the night itself. However, this time will be very different.
“Sergey will start his training camp at the Hatton Gym in Hyde a minimum of six weeks prior to the contest,” manager Philippe Fondu explained.
“Before this he will go, for around three weeks, to Valence in France, for a stage of physical conditioning with Nicolas Riffard, who guided Laurent Boudouani during his career, and also Jean Marc Mormeck, Akim Tafer and several of the great French champions of the past.
“Rabchenko knows very well that he has everything to lose if he doesn’t win clearly this this and he has the heart to put up a cracking performance.”
Ricky Hatton said: “I thought Sergey won the fight by two or three points last time, but didn’t perform to the standards he has set himself and I expect from him.
“He took a bit of criticism and I’m sure we’ll now see a big performance, one worthy of his WBC number one ranking.
“Although the last fight wasn’t as close as some people made out, we will be looking to go one better and get the knockout this time.”
A date and venue for the contest will be announced in due course.