Boxing: Hatton ready to vent frustration on Vilches

Here we go again with yet another pit-stop on the seemingly endless learning curve of Ricky Hatton's career.

Here we go again with yet another pit-stop on the seemingly endless learning curve of Ricky Hatton's career.

Tonight at the MEN Arena, in his home town of Manchester, Hatton will defend his World Boxing Union light-welterweight title for the 13th time in front of an anticipated sell-out crowd that even the fighter admits must be slightly bonkers to keep coming back.

Hatton is an enigma in the modern sport of boxing because his talents, the quality of his opponents, and his selling power are all at different levels. He can fight and is yet to have a truly hard contest, but the fans just keep flocking back and back in their thousands.

In the opposite corner this evening - and bringing to the ring a disturbing history of using his head in recent fights for cutting eyebrows and not planning strategy - is Carlos Wilfredo Vilches of Argentina.

Hatton has met unknown and untested men like Vilches before and that is partly the reason he recently turned nasty and launched an outspoken verbal attack on his promoter, Frank Warren.

The pair appear to have kissed and made up and Warren has assured his Mancunian star that he will secure him a big fight and an even bigger payday later this year. Hatton remains unconvinced; the pair are on speaking terms but the atmosphere is extremely cold.

Since turning professional in 1997, Hatton is unbeaten in 35 fights and has really done nothing wrong. However, when a fighter is making his 13th defence of a so-called world title, the paying public is entitled to expect more than Vilches.

Yet, if Hatton can win tonight he could face an American fighter called Paul Spadafora in October - which is the same month that Spadafora will be in court charged with attempting to murder his girlfriend by shooting her at a petrol station last year.

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