2nd March 2013
Matthew Hatton challenges South Africa’s popular IBO Welterweight champion Chris van Heerden tonight in the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.Hatton, 31, knows he will be up against not only a good boxer but a local hero with massive home support in van Heerden, but with the experience and knowing of fighting in an opponents backyard will stand him in good stead going into this big chance to win his first version of a world title.
Both boxers had to be dragged apart by security guards after a tension filled press conference this week in Johannesburg ahead of tonights fight which is being televised tonight live on BoxNation and expected to be a cracker.
“Van Heerden is up for it big time, like myself. He tried to get in my face at the press conference.
“We came together and at the traditional face-off. He put his head on my head and tried to push me backwards.
“I don’t let anyone push me around and I wasn’t having it so I pushed him back with my head.
“There was a bit of pushing and shoving, but the security got in quick enough. I am glad they did because I was starting to lose my temper.”
Hatton admits that van Heerden who has lost just once in 20 fighters has managed to rile him, but believes that has boosted his chance of a fabulous away win.
“I don’t think I have ever been so determined to win a fight because he is so full of himself and arrogant.
“I am really looking forward to taking him down a peg or two.
“I have seen it before, but I have to admit van Heerden has got under my skin a bit with his attitude and a few things he has said.
“I am experienced and will keep my cool on the night, but what happened at the press conference has just put a bit more fuel on my fire and made me more determined to win.” added Hatton.
VAN HEERDEN v Hatton will form one half of a doubleheader on BoxNation (Sky 437/ Virgin 546) from 7pm tonight. The second part of the action comes from America later in the night and features Richard Abril and Sharif Bogere challenging for the vacant WBA lightweight title.