Matthew Hatton vows to bounce back, eyes old European belt

Three-time world title challenger Matthew Hatton was in reflective mood when speaking to WBN today, just a short time from his IBO welterweight title defeat to Chris Van Heerden in South Africa.

‘Magic’ Matthew lost a wide points decision to up and comer Van Heerden in Johannesburg at the beginning of March, which represented a third loss in five outings for the Manchester fighter.

At 31 though, Hatton is still at his peak in boxing terms and believes that a temporary move to European level could be the catalyst for another push towards becoming a world champion in the future.

“I am obviously disappointed with the Van Heerden fight as I know I can perform much better, but just wasn’t my night,” Hatton told World Boxing News.

“It was always going to be a big ask fighting him such a long way from home but he performed better on the night and deserved the victory.”

Hatton has already spoken to promoter David Coldwell about where they go from here and the former EBU title holder is awaiting news of his imminent return following a short holiday in Tenerife.

“I spoke to Dave last week about dates for a possible return and will speak to him again later this week about getting confirmation on the next fight,” explained Hatton.

“I know I will have to drop back a level to rebuild, but I am fortunate to be in a great division full of top talent and I am very keen to try and recapture my old European title – a title I never lost in the ring.

“I was obviously disappointed after my recent loss, but after a few days letting the dust settle, I am keen to get back in the ring and back to winning ways. I still really love the sport, so while I am still able and performing at a high level – I will continue.

“I am not looking to fight any one person really in particular as I have always been willing to take on all comers and that is still the case today.”

Unbeaten Italian southpaw Leonard Bundu is the current champion with the European Boxing Union at 147lbs, defending his title on April 6 against Rafael Jackiewicz in Rome.

A win for the younger Hatton in the spring could potentially catapult him into contention to face the winner as is his standing with the organisation following his two defence-reign as title-holder in 2010.