Though he tried to make an IBO welterweight title fight with Lovemore N'dou, Matthew Hatton will be going ahead with his previously-scheduled September 19 bout with Zab Judah on the undercard of Mayweather-Marquez in Las Vegas. Negotiations for the N'dou bout fell through.
"It is a massive fight for me," said Hatton. "I'm disappointed the IBO title shot has fallen through, but this is an even bigger fight. Judah is one of the best fighters of the modern generation. It is a massive step up in class for me, but I have improved so much.
"I might have to go up one, maybe two levels to compete with him, but I feel I can."
Hatton (37-4-1, 14 KO) will be an enormous underdog against Judah (37-6, 25 KO), the former welterweight world champion and also an ex-140 pound titlist. The 31-year old Judah is somewhat faded and hardly on a great hot streak, but the gulf in class between the two seems fairly obvious. Hatton, 28, doesn't really have a "good" loss on his record. His May 2008 defeat at the hands of Craig Watson says enough: Watson was knocked out in three rounds in his previous fight, and lost his next one after beating Hatton.
Frankly -- and this is no shot at Matthew Hatton, who is a humble, hard-working guy -- Hatton is exactly the sort of guy Judah beats nowadays, a fighter that really has no business in the ring with someone as talented as he is. Just on hand speed, Judah figures to completely overwhelm and dominate the younger, less famous, less talented of the fighting Hatton brothers.
Still, I like the fight. Matthew's got a lot of heart and an upset would do absolute wonders for his career, and Judah has in recent years shown a real problem "manning up" when a fight gets hard. Judah lost to Carlos Baldomir, who really isn't remarkably better than Matthew Hatton. Hatton has also put together a respectable winning streak since losing to Watson, including wins over journeymen Ben Tackie, Ted Bami and Ernesto Zepeda.