• Boxing

Hatton roars back at critics of title shot

ESPN staff
February 23, 2011
Matthew Hatton has fought at light-middleweight just once before © Getty Images

Matthew Hatton has hit out at his critics by insisting he is fully deserving of a WBC light-middleweight title shot.

The European welterweight champion will fight Saul Alvarez in California on March 5 in a clash that was lifted to world title status after Manny Pacquiao decided to vacate the belt.

The promotion of the bout has been the source of controversy, with Hatton and Alvarez boasting just one fight at light-middleweight between them - when the Brit fought Rob Burton at national level in 2004.

But Hatton, the younger brother of legend Ricky, has rejected accusations that boxing politics have come into play. "I've not been involved in all that and I took the fight before it was for a world title because it's a great opportunity," he said. "My bravery in taking a fight like this at a weight up has been rewarded."

Alvarez promises to present a stiff test to Hatton, having amassed a 36-fight unbeaten record as a pro - despite being just 20 years old.

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