SERGEY RABCHENKO will defend his European light-middleweight title against familiar foe Cedric Vitu in Vratsa, Bulgaria on November 16.
The fast-rising Belarusian puncher defeated the Frenchman on a split decision last year and will be looking for a more decisive victory this time out.
Rabchenko has spent the past month working with conditioning expert Nicolas Riffard at his Planet Boxe gym in Valance, France and will link up his trainer Ricky Hatton in Hyde this weekend.
Hatton was missing from Rabchenko’s corner for the first Vitu clash as he was boxing himself that night in his huge comeback fight with Vyacheslav Senchenko and Sergey says that played a big part in the outcome.
“Last time Ricky didn’t train me and wasn’t with me on the night so I didn’t box as well as I know I could have even though I still won,” he said.
“I’ve proven how good I am in the fights I’ve had with Ricky and I will show people again by beating Vitu much more convincingly this time.
“It’s a fight I cannot wait for. I have trained harder than ever and I am looking forward to boxing in Bulgaria for the first time. For me, this is a chance to show what I am capable of in front of a new crowd and I am ranked number one by the WBC now, so it should push me towards a world title shot.”
The November 16 bill will be staged by Hatton Promotions in association with World Sport Promotion and will feature seven international bouts.
Chief support will be a 12 round clash between Ukraine’s unbeaten Vitaliy Kopalenko and tough Belarusian Sergey Khomitsky.
Kopalenko has stopped 12 of his 21 opponents inside the distance and is currently ranked number six by the EBU, while Khomitsky has earned himself a reputation as one of Europe’s toughest boxers by going the distance with Martin Murray, Ryan Rhodes and Max Bursak. He also defeated Britain’s popular Jamie Moore in 2010.
The show will also feature the professional debut of Belfast’s exciting Sonny Upton, the latest star from Ricky Hatton’s stable.