• Boxing

Rival trainer outraged by Hatton fight

ESPN staff
February 18, 2011
Ryan Rhodes' trainer is unhappy his fighter has been overlooked for the upcoming WBC light-middleweight title fight © Getty Images

The recently announced WBC light-middleweight title fight between Saul Alvarez and Matthew Hatton has come in for heavy criticism - being called 'boxing politics at its worst' by a rival trainer.

The fight between Alvarez and Hatton, brother of former light-welterweight champion Ricky, was upgraded to a title fight on Thursday after previous incumbent Manny Pacquiao decided to vacate his crown and turn his attentions to a welterweight clash with Shane Mosley.

But David Coldwell, trainer of No. 4 ranked light-middleweight contender Ryan Rhodes, believes it is disgraceful that the two fighters should be given a shot at the belt without having previously fought in the weight class.

"This is boxing politics at its worst," said Coldwell. "The WBC, one of the most well-regarded bodies in boxing, is doing the sport no favours.

"The public barely understands the way the sport is run, and when an organisation of their standing does this it just makes it a farce for boxers working their way towards the title."

Hatton and Alvarez have both traditionally fought at welterweight during their careers to date. While Alvarez has never previously competed at light-middleweight in his 36 professional fights to date, Hatton has recorded one such fight - but a number of years ago.

The fight is being promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, who wield significant influence in the United States - where the fight is being staged, and where both Alvarez and Hatton enjoy some recognition.

Rhodes, 34, has built up a formidable record of 45 wins and just four defeats in his professional career. Having hoped for a shot at the WBC belt prior to Pacquiao's defeat of Antonio Margarito, it seems he will now have to wait and hope he gets to fight the winner of the Hatton-Alvarez bout.

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