Matthew Hatton was outpointed in his bid to claim the vacant WBC light-middleweight title, losing a wide unanimous decision against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in California.
Hatton gave it his best shot and boxed well at times, but was never able to trouble the 20-year-old Mexican Alvarez during the fight at the Honda Center in Anaheim, eventually losing every round on all three judges scorecards that were scored 119-108 for the new Mexican sensation.
Hatton was a big underdog coming into this fight and was able to take the bigger mans shots without ever looking too hurt, but he found it hard to make a dent in Alvarez, who is now unbeaten in 37 fights, 26KO’s since turning professional as a 15-year-old in 2005.
Hatton, the European welterweight champion, had hoped his greater experience in a 47-bout career spanning the past decade would prove decisive, but as it turned out Alvarez had the edge from the opening bell, landing a flurry of head shots as the 29-year-old Englishman failed to win a single round.
The fight took place at a catchweight of 150lbs – 4lbs inside the light-middleweight division’s 11-stone limit. Alvarez failed to make the weight by 1.4lbs at Friday’s weigh-in, meaning he will lose a cut of his fight purse, some of which will go to Hatton.
It also opened the door for the smaller Hatton to stand behind a legitimate reason to pull out of the fight, but he had no regrets about going ahead with the bout – although he confirmed that he would now be returning to more familiar welterweight division.
“He’s a fantastic fighter, but he was just too big,” Hatton said.
“He never really hurt me. It was just a size difference. I want to go back down to my natural weight at welterweight, and hopefully I’ll get another shot there.
“When you get an opportunity to fight for a title, you can’t turn it down.”
Full credit to Hatton’s bravery to hang in there and last the distance against the much bigger Alvarez, who was just too much of a dominant force, that Hatton could not dent.
Alvarez, won the title that was vacated by pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao last month, becomes the youngest boxer ever to win a world title belt previously held by such ring greats as as Tommy Hearns, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The young red haired man they call ‘Canelo’ is hoping to be the next Mexican superstar and is also tipped to become the next pound for pound king of the ring, when Mayweather and Pacquaio hang up there gloves and afterwards he reiterated that prophesy while paying credit to Hatton’s boxing skills and toughness of his Manchester opponent.
“This was a great experience for me,” said Alvarez, who’s already among his nation’s most famous athletes. “This was my first world title shot, but it’s the first of many, and I’ll win them all for my fans. I want to fight the biggest and the best. I’m going to be the next big name of Mexico.”
“He’s a good fighter,” Alvarez said. “People criticized him, but he was a tough guy.”
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