Boxing: Hatton and Rios will finally meet

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Four months ago Argentina's Aldo Rios was gloved and ready to fight Ricky Hatton but 30 minutes before the fight he was told that his services were no longer needed.

On 27 September Rios will be back in Manchester, and on that occasion he will challenge Hatton for the World Boxing Union light-welterweight title in front of an anticipated crowd of 16,000 at the MEN Arena.

The bizarre circumstances surrounding the non-fight in April were caused by the American Vince Phillips who threatened to withdraw from his fight against Hatton and therefore leave the ring empty.

As a safety measure against Phillips' plan, Rios was flown in and kept in secret in the days before the fight and on the night, as Phillips continued to make demands that threatened the show, Rios quietly prepared for a fight against Hatton. Thankfully, the volatile impasse was solved and Phillips lost on points to Hatton and Rios returned to Argentina.

Rios, 29, has won 34 of his 37 fights and has a world ranking at lightweight but he made it clear in April that he is unable to make the lightweight limit any longer and that he was moving to the higher poundage.

In theory this will be Hatton's last fight - he is unbeaten in 32 - before a truly meaningful encounter against a high ranked American in December back at the MEN.

Hatton said: "Rios has never been stopped - until now. I just want to put on another great performance and every fight now takes me closer to a shot at another world title."

Meanwhile, the bout between Corrie Sanders and Roy Jones Jr set for November has fallen through. Sanders, the World Boxing Organisation champion, had been delighted to set up a fight against Jones, who holds the World Boxing Association version of the heavyweight title.

But he will next meet the journeyman Lamon Brewster instead, after the WBO demanded that he take on their mandatory challenger in the next 45-90 days in South Africa, Germany or the United States.

Comments