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Matthew Hatton vs. N’Dou on November 13th
(By William Mackay - boxingnews24.com)

September 2, 2009

Welterweight project Matthew Hatton (37-4-1, 14 KO’s) will be fighting Lovemore N’Dou (47-11-1, 31 KO’s) for the welterweight International Boxing Organization title on November 13th, in Manchester, England. Hatton, 28, the younger brother of Ricky Hatton, is reportedly in the process of signing for a fight with the 38-year-old N’Dou this week.

Hatton was in the process of setting up a fight against Zab Judah a month ago, but that fight disappeared after Judah said he wanted the bout to take place at light welterweight instead of welterweight. Hatton, a solid welterweight, wasn’t interesting in having to take seven pounds off to make the fight happen so instead the two fighters moved on.

N’Dou previously held the IBF light welterweight title for a brief time in 2007, defeating Naoufel Ben Rabah in an 11th round stoppage to win the vacant IBF belt. However, N’Dou didn’t hold the title for long, losing the title in a lopsided 12 round decision loss to Paul Malignaggi in June 2007.

As of late, N’Dou hasn’t looked good, and has lost three out of his last five bouts since 2007. N’Dou moved up to the welterweight division in November 2008, and promptly lost a 12 round decision to Kermit Cintron. Recently, N’Dou defeated Phillip N’dou to pick up the vacant IBO welterweight title in July 2009.

Matthew Hatton has won his last four fights since being soundly defeated by Craig Watson in May 2008. Hatton has looked much improved in beating Scott Woolford, Ben Tackie, Ted Bami and Ernesto Zepeda, all good B class fighters. Hatton doesn’t have much power and is more of a boxer.

Hatton should be able to win this fight if he can avoid getting involved with heavy exchanges with N’Dou. Hatton isn’t nearly as powerful as the South African and can ill afford to get caught up into a war with him. N’Dou may be getting up there in age, but he can very tough if he has the right type of opponent in front of him. Hatton has been handled very carefully since his loss to Watson and has been put in with mostly lesser or older fighters that don’t present much of a threat for him.

The 38-year-old N’Dou appears to be more of the same type of opponent. However, N’Dou still has some life left in him and Hatton will have to be wary of getting hit by him because he still packs quite a wallop, even at 38. Without a lot of power and hand speed, it’s unclear whether Hatton will ever be a 1st tier welterweight.

He’s improved a lot since his defeat by Watson, but he needs a ton of improvement before he’s ready to beat top level opposition. At 28, Hatton doesn’t have a lot of time left to continue to develop. Usually by Hatton’s age, a fighter either has the ability or doesn’t. In the case of Hatton, he’s likely to be stuck as a fringe contender for the remainder of his career unless he can find some power and speed to go along with his good ring movement.


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