28.10.03 – Undefeated WBU Junior Welterweight Champion and current WBC and WBA No. 3 contender Ricky “Hitman” Hatton will make his 11th title defense when he takes on IBF No. 14 140-pound contender Ben Tackie Saturday, Dec. 13, on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, at 10 p.m. ET/PT*. In the co-feature from MEN Arena in Manchester, England, rising unbeaten Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy will defend his North American Boxing Federation/United States Boxing Association (NABF/USBA) super middleweight crowns against NABF Light Heavyweight Champion Donnell Wiggins. Frank Warren’s Sports Network will promote the 12-round bouts live*.
Hatton (33-0, 25 KOs), of Manchester, England, captured the WBU 140-pound title on March 26, 2001, with a fourth-round knockout over Tony Pep in Wembley, England. Hatton successfully defended the WBU title four times in 2001 and 2002. In his first fight of 2003, Hatton registered an impressive 12-round unanimous decision over former world champion “Cool” Vince Phillips April 5 on SHOWTIME from Manchester. More than five months later, Hatton recorded an impressive ninth-round TKO on Sept. 27, 2003, over Aldo Nazareno Rios (35-2 going in). The Manchester native, who turned 25 on Oct. 6, floored Rios twice early in the fight, prior to stopping him for good in round nine. Hatton, a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Intercontinental and British titleholder, will continue his quest to secure a title fight with 140-pound champion Kostya Tszyu.
Tackie (24-4, 15 KOs), of Accra, Ghana, will make his second ring appearance since dropping a 12-round decision to Tszyu May 18, 2002, on SHOWTIME. Despite battling gamely in his world title debut, Tackie rarely was able to land more than one punch at a time, and had trouble connecting with his vaunted right hand. The defeat ended a three-fight winning streak for the durable boxer, whose best performance came when he rallied to register a 10th-round TKO over former IBF 130-pound titleholder Roberto Garcia June 3, 2000, on SHOWTIME. In his last appearance, Tackie dropped a 12-round decision to Sharmba Mitchell in an IBF 140-pound elimination bout May 17, 2003, on SHOWTIME.
Lacy (15-0, 12 KOs), of Tampa, Fla., will appear on SHOWTIME for the eighth time. In his last start, he retained his titles for the first time with a 12-round decision over Richard Grant on July 15 in Beverly Hills, Calif. The talented Lacy, who steadily has ascended the super middleweight world rankings since turning pro, currently is ranked No. 7 by both the IBF and WBO, No. 8 by the WBC and No. 12 by the WBA. He earned the USBA belt with a third-round TKO on Feb. 22, 2003, in Memphis. Lacy won the WBC Continental Americas crown with a hard-fought decision over defending champion Ross Thompson Nov. 9, 2002, on SHOWTIME. Lacy went 209-12 in the amateurs, won numerous competitions and made it to the second round of the 2000 Olympics.
Wiggins (20-2-2, 11 KOs), of Covington, Tenn., captured the NABF light heavyweight crown in his last bout by registering a 12-round majority decision over Rodney Moore on Oct. 11, 2003. At age 19, Wiggins made his pro debut a successful one by scoring a first-round TKO over Kevin Robertson. After tipping the scales at 186 pounds for his initial outing, Wiggins’ weight has varied from 170 to 202 pounds during his 22-fight career. The versatile boxer ran his record to 12-1-1 prior to suffering a second-round TKO loss to Moore for the North American Boxing Association (NABA) 175-pound championship on July 27, 2002. Since suffering his second defeat, Wiggins has gone 8-0-1 with five knockouts.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast is Jay Larkin, with David Dinkins Jr. producing and Bob Dunphy directing.