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Saul Alvarez beats Matthew Hatton to win WBC title

Matthew Hatton (left) takes a punch from Saul Alvarez
Hatton (left) was outfought by his classy Mexican opponent

Unbeaten Mexican Saul Alvarez has become the youngest light-middleweight world champion by defeating Britain's Matthew Hatton on points in California.

The 20-year-old bloodied Hatton's nose in the second round and opened a gash over his left eye during the fourth.

However, he lost a point in the seventh for punching Hatton as the fighters were pushed apart by referee Lou Moret.

The Briton fought hard but Alvarez claimed a unanimous decision to win the title vacated by Manny Pacquiao.

The contest was fought at a catchweight of 150lbs, four pounds inside the light-middlweight division's 11-stone limit.

Alvarez had tipped the scales at two pounds over the agreed weight at Friday's weigh-in, opening the door for the smaller Hatton, who is the European welterweight champion, to pull out.

I'm going to be the next big name of Mexico

Saul Alvarez

However, the 29-year-old younger brother of former world champion Ricky agreed to go ahead with the fight, although he confirmed after the defeat that he would return to his more familiar weight.

"He's a fantastic fighter, but he was just too big," Hatton, who slumped to a fifth defeat 48 fights, conceded.

"He never really hurt me. It was just a size difference. I want to go back down to my natural weight at welterweight, and hopefully I'll get another shot there.

"When you get an opportunity to fight for a title, you can't turn it down."

Alvarez had the edge from the first bell, landing a flurry of head shots as Hatton, who has not been stopped in eight years, failed to win a single round.

All three judges scored the bout 119-108, meaning Alvarez won every round on every card, except the seventh which was scored 9-9 after he was docked a point.

"This was a great experience for me," said Alvarez, who's already among his nation's most famous athletes.

"This was my first world title shot, but it's the first of many, and I'll win them all for my fans. I want to fight the biggest and the best. I'm going to be the next big name of Mexico."

Alvarez, who turned professional as a 15-year-old, has won 32 consecutive fights since June 2006.

In Newark, New Jersey, Zab Judah knocked out Kaizer Mabuza in the seventh round to regain the IBF light-welterweight title he first held more than a decade ago.

Judah (41-6, 28 KOs) landing a devastating straight left on his South African opponent early in the seventh, causing Mabuza to fall halfway through the ropes in the corner.

Referee Sam Viruet gave him a standing count before allowing the fight to continue, but Judah, 33, landed several more blows that finally put Mabuza out on his feet, reclaiming the IBF belt he first won in 2000.

see also
Alvarez to face Hatton over limit
05 Mar 11 |  Boxing
Hatton handed world title chance
16 Feb 11 |  Boxing
Hatton fells Belge to keep title
26 Nov 10 |  Boxing
Hatton defends his European title
17 Jul 10 |  Boxing
Matthew Hatton wins European belt
27 Mar 10 |  Boxing
Hatton held by N'dou in IBO bid
13 Nov 09 |  Boxing

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