|Matthew Hatton with brother Ricky|
European Welterweight Champion “Magic” Matthew Hatton headlines this week’s “Friday Fight night” on Sky Sports, defending his title against former WBA Champion Yury Nuzhnenko at Bolton Arena.
Hatton picked up the EBU Belt in his previous bout against Gianluca Branco in Dagenham, winning a unanimous decision in a tough 12 rounder against the seasoned Italian.
At 29, Matthew has bloomed late in his career, gradually stepping up in class rather than moving swiftly through the division and now has the experience to go with his grit and determination.
Nuzhnenko also bring with him a wealth of experience, he was 21-0 when he challenged for and won the WBA Inter-Continental Title, then six undefeated fights later he won the WBA Interim Middleweight Title with a win over Frederic Klose.
Since that World Title victory in France, Yury’s career has somewhat stuttered, He almost lost his title in his first defence against Irving Garcia on home soil.
Nuzhnenko was accidently head-butted in the second round which opened a cut above his left eye and gradually worsened until the referee stopped the fight in the tenth round, one of the scorecards read 96-95 to Nuzhnenko with the other two scoring the fight even.
He followed up the draw with Garcia with a decision win over Uzbeki figher Ikbal Kurbanov, before losing his title to compatriot Vyacheslav Senchenko on points in Donestk, Ukraine.
After four fights in World Title class, Nuzhnenko has had two routine victories in his own back yard as he looks to get back in the World Title mix with a win over Hatton.
Matthew’s older brother Ricky, who will promote the fight, thinks this could be Matthew’s toughest test yet, “I’m still not sure about my boxing, but as a promoter I know exactly what I want to do.
“I want to take our kid to a world title and this fight is a real test for him.
“I’ve told him that there are no easy routes to a world title and that he has to be beat fighters like Nuzhnenko to get there.”
Matthew himself added, “I know that Ricky can deliver the world title fight, but I have to deliver in the ring in the biggest test of my career.
“I’ve been with Ricky through all the ups and downs and he will be there with me. Winning this will take me within touching distance of the world title and that is what makes it special.”
Watch Matthew Hatton v Yury Nuzhnenko on Sky Sports HD1 this Friday at 10pm.
For tickets call 0161 775 7500
Rest of the Fight Card:
|Martin Murray in action|
- Martin Murray v Peter Mitrevski Jr (Commonwealth Middleweight Title)
- Scott Quigg v Gavin Reid (Super-Bantamweight)
- Navad Iran v Jamie Ambler (Light-Heavyweight)
- Craig Watson v TBA (Welterweight)
- Matty Askin v Lee Kellett (Cruiserweight)
- Anthony Crolla v Chris Riley (Super-Featherweight)
- Kieran Maher v Jason Nesbitt (Light-Welterweight)
- Craig Lyon v Anwar Alfadli (Super-Bantamweight)
By Phil D Jay for www.britishboxers.co.uk