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Page last updated at 17:17 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 18:17 UK

Hatton spurns De la Hoya match-up

By Ben Dirs

Ricky Hatton
Hatton has 44 wins from 45 professional fights

Ricky Hatton will not be fighting Oscar de la Hoya this year, according to Hatton's father and business manager.

Six-weight world champion De la Hoya was set to fight Floyd Mayweather on 20 September before the latter's retirement announcement on Friday.

This led to reports that Hatton would fill the void, but Ray Hatton said his son needed more time to prepare.

"An approach has been made but it would be too soon, Richard only fought two weeks ago," Hatton Sr told BBC Sport.

"Oscar likes to fight in September because of Mexican Independence Day, but Richard's chilling out at the moment and doing dad things."

Hatton, the consensus world champion at light-welterweight, was stopped in 10 rounds by WBC welterweight king Mayweather last December and the Manchester fighter appeared to have set his heart on a rematch.

Richard and Pacquiao have got the two biggest followings in the world - where would you stage a fight like that?

Ray Hatton

But Hatton Sr said Mayweather's decision to retire would not affect his son's career and that he remained fully focused on a November match-up with IBF light-welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi.

"We always said to Floyd, you know where we are if you want the fight, but no massive plans have gone out of the window because of his retirement," said Hatton Sr.

"Obviously, Richard would have liked to have gone over that ground again because he thinks he never gave it his best shot in the first fight. If Mayweather beat him again, he could live with that.

"And you can never say never with Floyd, maybe if the money was there in 12 months he would change his mind.

"But the Mayweather fight was only one fight that people were talking to us about and as far as Richard is concerned, he's geared up to fight Paul Malignaggi in November.

"A few things still have to be tied up in terms of a venue and TV. Richard would like to fight at Madison Square Garden [in New York], but we have to look at the financial implications.


"In Richard's last fight [Hatton beat Juan Lazcano by unanimous decision at the City of Manchester Stadium] money didn't come into it because he wanted it in England for the fans.

"But obviously if Las Vegas came into it, or a Canadian city [Toronto's 68,000 capacity Sky Dome is another possible venue] then money has to come into play with Richard coming towards the end of his career."

With Hatton out of the frame, likely opponents for De la Hoya in September would seem to be fellow American Ronald "Winky" Wright, or the winner of the meeting in July between welterweight title-holders Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito.

It is quite possible that would be De la Hoya's final fight, but Hatton Sr said there would be no shortage of fighters queuing up for a match with his son in De la Hoya's absence.

One would be Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao, who has stated that he wants to move up and challenge Hatton if he beats David Diaz for his WBC lightweight crown on 28 June.

"We were approached by Manny Pacquiao after the Mayweather fight and it's on the cards," said Hatton Sr.

"Pacquiao's big at his weight and it would be a wonderful fight. They've just about got the two biggest followings in the world - where would you stage a fight like that?

"It's nice that these people are approaching him because it means Richard can just sit back and not have to chase people. It's a wonderful position to be in."

see also
Pretty Boy bows out
08 Jun 08 |  Boxing
Mayweather announces retirement
06 Jun 08 |  Boxing
Malignaggi test next for Hatton
29 May 08 |  Boxing

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