Matthew Hatton vs Chris van Heerden Preview March 2
IBO World Welterweight Champion Chris van Heerden of South Africa will be taking on challenger Matthew Hatton of Manchester, England in on Saturday March 2 in his home town of Johannesburg. The 31-year-old Hatton, who is the brother of former world champion Ricky Hatton, is the former European champion and will be attempting to capture a world title, albeit a minor one, for the third time
Hatton stopped Michael Lomax in the first round last October in his last bout after losing a unanimous decision to fellow Briton Kell Brook last March. The 25-year-old Van Heerden is a step up in class from Lomax and will enter the ring with a record of 18-1-1 with 10 Kos. The southpaw won the title back in September of 2011 when he beat Kaizer Mazuba by a unanimous decision. This will be just his second defense though as he’s fought just once since winning the crown, which was another unanimous decision against Sebastian Andres Lujan last June.
Hatton has a win and a draw in his two previous title shots. He battled Lovemore N’dou of South Africa to a draw in England in an attempt to win the IBO title belt back in November of 2009 and then dropped a unanimous decision to current WBC Junior Middleweight champ Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico in March of 2011 when the title was vacant. Hatton’s record stands at 43-6-2 with 17 Kos.
Van Heerden is basically a stationary boxer who has a pretty good defense. His best punches are the right uppercut and hook and he prefers to fight on the inside. However, the veteran Hatton is quite durable and can take a good shot. He surprised many by going the distance with Alvarez and Brook, but doesn’t really have much in the way of power to keep his opponents off of him. It’s going to be hard for him to win a decision here and just as hard to earn a knockout due to his lack of power.
Hatton will be in trouble if he tries to go toe-to-toe with the champion, so he’s going to have to try to out box him. However, he always comes up short whenever he moves up in class and he’ll be moving up in class against Van Heerden and also fighting in the champion’s backyard. The South African sees this as a huge stepping stone on his way to some possible big-money fights in the talent-rich welterweight division.
Hatton turned pro back in 2000 and has fought mainly European opposition. He’s been stopped just once early in his career and also lost a bout after being disqualified. Van Heerden turned pro in 2006 and has fought just once outside of South Africa. Ironically, he lost that about when Nikola Stevanovic beat him by a 12-round split decision in Serbia in 2010. In reality, an argument could be made that Hatton has faced the tougher opposition over the years and that may help him here.
This is an extremely hard bout to predict. Logic would have it that if Hatton can go the distance against the superb Alvarez as well as Brook, he should be able to at least last the distance against Van Heerden. And while he might do so, he’s probably not going to do enough to win the fight on points. Look for the champion Van Heerden to retain his belt by as decision here.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds of a Hatton win at +320 and a Van Heerden victory at -460. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the fights.