Hatton stops Belge, retains EBU title

Matthew Hatton revealed his work in the gym was put to good practice as he knocked out unbeaten Swiss challenger Roberto Belge in the third round to retain his European Boxing Union (EBU) welterweight title.

The 29-year-old had been working hard with trainer Bob Shannon on his body punching before the fight, and it proved worth it as he dispatched of Belge with a stunning left hook to the body.

“It is something I’ve been working on, I’ve neglected my body punches in the past but Bob Shannon puts a big emphasis on body punching,” explained the European champion.

“I clipped him round the head and saw the opening. I noticed when I watched him on DVD that he cupped his hands up close around his ears so it’s obviously something we worked on.”

Belge proved an awkward customer in the opening two rounds, but Hatton never believed he was a danger as he felt in control from the first bell.

“When we came in close, I knew I was so much stronger. I knew it was only a matter of time but I knew he was a good fighter as he came with an unbeaten record of 26 fights and he came to win.
“However, I was a level above him and I was really pleased with the left hook that finished him.”

With a second defence behind him, Matthew is now primed for a world title shot and older brother Ricky revealed it would be an ‘honour’ for him to get his younger sibling a shot. He said: “I think we can give him a world title in 2011. I would like to think he will be in the top four of the world now. With performances like that, it makes our job to get him a world title fight easier.

“In my role was a promoter now it would be an honour if I could get my brother a world title shot. There’s nobody else in the world that could hope to make progress like Matthew is doing at the moment.”

Elsewhere on the Hatton Promotions talent-stacked show, Martin Murray added the WBA International middleweight title to his Commonwealth crown with an impressive second-round stoppage of Brazilian Carlos Nasciemento.

Super bantamweight Scott Quigg defended his WBA International title with a points win over Daniel Kodjo Sassou, and Bejiing Olympian Joe Murray continued his fast rise through the featherweight ranks with another impressive win, this time a second-round stoppage of David Cianelli.

Here are the results from the other exciting match-ups on the night.

Featherweight: Kid Galahad beat John Riley KO1
Cruiserweight: Matty Askin beat Mitchell Balker TKO3
Super middleweight: Dean Halsall beat Jamie Norkett PTS
Light middleweight: Adam Etches beat Ian Jackson TKO1
Bantamweight: Tasif Khan beat Pavels Senkovs PTS

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