Boxing: Hatton targets Tszyu showdown after stylish win

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The Independent Online

Ricky Hatton laid claim to being one of the world's leading light welterweights after a perfect 12-round points verdict against Ghana's Ben Tackie on Saturday night in Manchester.

Hatton retained his World Boxing Union light welterweight title in some style and this victory will finally give the 25-year-old the chance to pit himself against the so-called best four fighters in his division - Kostya Tszyu, Zab Judah, Arturo Gatti and Sharmba Mitchell.

The immediate plan for Hatton is simple. He is likely to meet the winner of the 7 February fight between Tszyu, the triple world champion, and Mitchell. If a fight between Hatton and the winner of that pairing could be made it would be one of the biggest in British boxing history.

"I knew that I needed to produce my best performance against my best opponent and I did exactly that," Hatton said. Once again a crowd of over 16,000 paid for the pleasure of watching the local idol at the MEN Arena.

At the same time as Hatton was winning in Manchester, Robin Reid was losing a controversial points decision to Sven Ottke for the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association super middleweight titles in Nuremberg, Germany.

Reid lost on points but appeared to have done more than enough to end Ottke's unbeaten run and take the titles.

The controversy took place in round six when Reid appeared to knock Ottke down but the referee decided that it was a slip and then a second later deducted a point from Reid for illegal use of the head.

Had the round been scored 10-8 in Reid's favour instead of 10-9 in Ottke's favour then Reid would once again be the world champion today.

Reid and his manager, Jeff Harding, plan to appeal against the decision and hopefully secure an immediate rematch.

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