Boxing: Hatton gets morning wake-up call for title fight

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Ricky Hatton will fight Kostya Tszyu for the International Boxing Federation light-welterweight title at 2am on 5 June at the MEN Arena, Manchester.

The fight was officially announced yesterday to end two months of speculation, and Hatton will now have the benefit of knowing when he is fighting, where he is fighting and at what time. Hatton against Tszyu is the most important fight in Britain since Nigel Benn beat Gerald McClellan in London in February 1995.

Meanwhile, at the Braehead Arena in Scotland, local fighter Scott Harrison defends his World Boxing Organisation featherweight title for the fourth time of his second reign against the Colombian fighter Victor Polo.

Harrison has been involved in 16 championship fights during the last six or seven years and he has made it clear that after Polo he wants a meaningful fight against one of the sport's leading boxers.

However, he first will have to overcome the tall and annoyingly efficient Polo, who has lost just four times and three of those defeats were controversial and on points. His fourth loss was over 13 years ago when he was a novice.

Back in July 2003, Harrison, who at the time was just a fight away from a big pay day against one of the sport's top Mexicans, was beaten on points and lost his title to Manuel Medina who is similar in many ways to Polo.

Harrison should retain his title but it will not be easy, and his win, and the formal announcement of the Hatton fight, will end a week of beautiful speculation. On Monday Lennox Lewis was coming back, but on Tuesday he was staying retired, and only yesterday there was news that Naseem Hamed, who made 15 defences of the WBO featherweight title, is planning a return this summer somewhere in the Middle East.