News February 2008

28.02.08 Witter accepts £100K for Hatton fight

By Simon Parker

Junior Witter

Junior Witter today declared he would willingly take Ricky Hatton's "peanuts" offer for a May showdown in Manchester.

Bradford's WBC light-welterweight world champion hit back after claims that he had rejected the chance to face the Hitman for £100,000.

Hatton's manager, dad Ray Hatton, said yesterday they had offered Witter "the highest purse he'd ever had". But it had been turned down and the cash was no longer on the table.

But Witter is furious and wants to pin down his deadly rival after years of ducking and diving - saying the fight is his only motivation not the wealth.

"This is not about the money - it's personal," he blasted. "The pay-day is not even close to what I was getting for going out to America.

"I would have got well over twice as much to fight Demetrius Hopkins over there. But I'm prepared to take it just to knock Hatton out for his cheek.

"It might be all about greed with some people but not me. If that's what they think I'm worth then fine I'll take it just for the chance to finally put Hatton into retirement."

Hatton is expected to face Texan Juan Lazcano in his comeback fight after losing to Floyd Mayweather in December.

Lazcano has been out of action for a year since a defeat against Vivian Harris, who Witter viciously KO'ed in seven devastating rounds five months ago.

Ray Hatton claims a "gentleman's agreement" is in place although Witter's promoter Mick Hennessy understood Lazcano had not signed his contract.

Hennessy said: "I spoke to Golden Boy Promotions in the early hours today and they told me that the Lazcano deal was not done yet.

"So my understanding is there is no contract signed between the two; the venue is not sorted as of today; HBO (American TV giants) have not confirmed they are covering it and it's not the fight the paying public want to see - which is Witter v Hatton.

"Junior is happy to jump in and take up their peanuts offer because he isn't greedy."

Hennessy claimed Hatton's lawyer Gareth Williams had said that if the fight did ever come off, Witter "would not get a penny over £100,000 because that is all he is worth."

Witter's manager John Ingle spoke to both Williams and Ray Hatton today.

Williams confirmed that the offer mentioned was for May 24 but Hatton said it was never for that date.

"Maybe Floyd Mayweather hit Ricky Hatton that hard even his dad and lawyer are confused," laughed Witter, who is currently warm-weather training in Gran Canaria.

Witter was due to defend his title in California next month against Hopkins but that fell through after the American pulled out for no apparent reason.

Now he is desperate to take out his frustration on the man he has been stalking throughout his career.

Ingle said: "I can understand their reluctance to take the fight because (trainer) Billy Graham's record against us in major contests isn't very good.

"Alan Bosworth beat Matthew Hatton, Johnny Nelson finished off Carl Thompson's reign as champion and Andrew Facey took Matthew Macklin's unbeaten record.

"The only major win Billy has got over us was Ricky Hatton against Jon Thaxton. But Thaxton has proved since then that he's not a real light-welter by going back to lightweight.

"Ray Hatton says they are tied up for the next 12 months with a deal with HBO, who've got a list of opponents. But how can Junior not be on that list?

"We've been told that he is and that's the fight that HBO want to see. It's a travesty if it doesn't happen."

27.02.08 Jennings aims for WBO shot

Chorley boxer Michael Jennings is aiming to take a shot at the WBO title before the end of 2008.

The Chorley Lurcher has been stepping up his training following a week off after his win over Ross Minter.

Michael is preparing for his homecoming fight at the Reebok stadium on April 5 when he will be sharing a bill with Amir Khan.

He said: "I am really looking forward to getting back in action and am going to be training even harder every day this month.

"A lot of people have been saying this is going to be my year but I've heard it all before. I just want to get on with my boxing and try to get a big fight in America and a shot against the top fighters for the WBO title some time this year."

discuss in FORUM HERE

27.02.08 Mosely to fight Zab Judah next

Shane Mosley and Zab Judah will meet in an intriguing bout which has been scheduled for May 31.

Shane Mosely

The bout, which is set to take place in Las Vegas, was announced by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer earlier this week.

"The fight is made," Schaefer told "The fight is signed.

"I think it is a must-win for them.... They know exactly what is at stake.

“A win for Shane over Zab Judah and he's right back in the mix with all the big names, and the same is true for Zab. That's why it's a very compelling fight."

Mosley’s last outing was a unanimous points defeat at the hands of WBA welterweight champion Miguel Angel Cotto and Sugar revealed that he is hoping that a victory over Judah will secure him another crack at the Puerto Rican.

"I'm just trying to get back in there with Cotto and fight him again because I believe I can take him, so this is a real must-win for me," Mosley said.

"There are a lot of great fights out there that I want to be in the mix for, so it's important. It's important for me and Zab. I cant wait. It's going to be fun."

He continued: "I was supposed to fight [Ricardo] Mayorga but [his promoter] Don King wasn't really helpful in that fight, so we couldn't make the fight.

"So then it came down to Judah and [Carlos] Quintana. We thought Zab was a bigger fight even though it wasn't for a title. I think Zab's a bigger name.

“Maybe I can fight Quintana later. I'd like that. But right now, it's Judah. It's a done deal. We'll go out there and mix it up."

26.02.08 Hatton audio Interview on 'Homecoming'

Click HERE to listen to interview

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26.02.08 Martinez plans UK invasion

Kiko Martinez

"Spanish Bull", Kiko Martinez intends to put the horn into "The Matador", Rendall Munroe when the pair clash for Martinez’s European super-bantamweight title at the Harvey Hadden Leisure Centre in Nottingham on March 7.

The little Spaniard was selected last August to be the opponent in a tuneup fight for Irish superstar Bernard Dunne, but Martinez never got the script.

The 21 year old Ipuncher took the smile off the faces of all those Irish eyes in attendance at The Point in Dublin by destroying Dunne in a single round with the kind of explosive power punching display that would have been a credit to today’s top heavyweights.

Rendall Munroe

Martinez, who has been finishing preparations in his gym in Alicante and will be arriving in the Midlands next week, said, "I’m coming to England to redeem myself for the misunderstanding in Belfast when I was supposed to fight Wayne McCullough.

This time, there will be no slip-ups about my weight; my title is on the line and without that, I get no work, so there’s no way I’m letting some guy who I’ve never seen or heard of take my title. There will be no Robin Hood story happening this time in Nottingham."

discuss in FORUM HERE

26.02.08 Haye V Maccarinelli stream interview

David Haye says he can beat Enzo Maccarinelli inside a minute when the pair meet on March 8.

They face off at the O2 Arena next Saturday with the WBO, WBC and WBA world cruiserweight titles on the line.

Many believe the fight won't last long - including favourite Haye, who says he has the tools to beat Maccarinelli in the first round.

"If Enzo comes in with the same sloppy attitude he has had in his last few fights it won't go beyond a minute of the first," the 27-year-old told The Sun.

"He got away with it against the cannon fodder he's faced recently but I hope he raises his game against me.

"I hope he won't have a false sense of security because the public deserve a decent fight.

"But either way the outcome is a foregone conclusion. I will be clinical, I will be ruthless, and I will take him out."

discuss in FORUM HERE

26.02.08 Hatton would only go to 147 for rematch

Ricky Hatton insists a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jnr is the only fight that would tempt him to make the step up to welterweight again.

Ricky Hatton

The Manchester-based boxer, whose greatest night came when he beat light-welterweight great Kostya Tszyu to become IBF world champion in Manchester three years ago, admits he found it tough on the two occasions he crossed divisions.

He was taken all the way before outpointing Luis Collazo over 12 close rounds in Boston in May 2006, and then suffered his first defeat when Mayweather stopped him in the 10th in Las Vegas last December.

"Maybe the first fight should have been a bit of a wake-up call and told me that I'm not quite a welterweight really," said Hatton. "But it's always been about the challenge for me.

"It was never about unbeaten records and padded-out records. Even though the first one at welterweight was a little bit of a struggle, I had no fear moving up again," he told a Boxing Writers Club lunch in London.

"Needless to say, that'll be the last fight at welterweight, with a bit of luck."

But, almost immediately, Hatton admitted he would move up once more if he got the chance to avenge his only setback in 44 fights.

"It would only be for Mayweather," insisted Ricky, whose desire is fuelled by the frustration of thinking he could have done better, annoyance at the way referee Joe Cortez handled the fight and the belief everything turned against him after the British fans jeered the American anthem.

"There's lots I could have done different but I just felt the referee didn't have one of his greatest nights and, as much as Floyd won the fight, I lost it as well," said Hatton.

"But he's the best, pound-for-pound. Even if the referee had had a sensational night I'd still have been up against it. I just don't think I was destined to win that fight.

"If I'd been a British referee in Manchester and 30,000 Americans had come over and booed our national anthem I'd have got the hump a bit. I don't think it helped my case."

Ideally, Hatton would like a Mayweather rematch to be made closer to his natural 10st division but he is realistic enough to know there is no chance of that.

"He's the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world so he can do what he wants. I don't think I'm in a position to turn round and say to Floyd he should fight me at catchweight," added Hatton, who hopes to announce his immediate plans to return to his natural weight division next week.

American Juan Lazcano has agreed terms to fight at the City of Manchester Stadium on Saturday, May 24 - or Wembley Stadium a week later.

Hatton hopes Paulie Malignaggi, the current IBF light-welter champion, will fight on the undercard to set up a title clash at New York's Madison Square Garden in the autumn.

Negotiations with the New Yorker are at an advanced stage but Ray Hatton, Ricky's father and business manager, has a back-up in Ricardo Torres, the WBO champion from Colombia.

"Malignaggi is the favourite at the moment if we can come to an agreement. We are very, very close but we don't rule out going the other way and going Torres in Las Vegas," said Hatton snr.

discuss in FORUM HERE

25.02.08 Duddy fight with Pavlik in doubt

John Duddy

John Duddy’s world title aspirations look to be in tatters after the Derry boxer suffered a double blow over the weekend.

Duddy was widely expected to face WBO and WBC middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik in New York next July but a failure to agree on a purse and a nasty cut sustained in a sluggish win over Walid Smichet on Saturday night could scupper his plans.

Talks aimed at securing the dream bout with Pavlik broke down without agreement over the challenger’s purse, with reports claiming that Duddy was looking for €400,000 more than the €800,000 on offer.

But the 28-year-old’s representatives may find their bargaining position further undermined after a lucky points win over Smichet at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

Duddy sustained nasty cuts to both sides of his face and Pavlik’s promoter, Bob Arum, has questioned whether he would be ready to face his man in a little over three months.

“I don’t think Duddy is going to be ready because of the cuts,” Arum told the Irish Sun.

“We are going to have to go back to the drawing board and check out other middleweights. Maybe we’ll have to fight Duddy down the road because Kelly is looking to fight three more times this year.

“So there will be plenty more times to fight Duddy if he doesn’t fight him immediately.”

Arum is believed to be concerned as to Duddy’s ability to attract a large television audience after he failed to live up to the hype that has surrounded his career thus far.

The Derryman retains his unblemished record with a 24th straight victory, and he denied that he had allowed himself to be distracted by a potential bout with Pavlik.

“I made it difficult on myself. I wasn’t letting my punches go like I normally do. I think I was pressing,” Duddy said.

“I wasn’t even thinking about Pavlik. That was up to my people. I know there are conversations going on.”

discuss in FORUM HERE

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