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Matthew Hatton fighting IBO 147 lb champ Chris Van Heerden on February 2nd, 2013

Matthew HattonBy Sean McDaniel: Former EBU welterweight champion Matthew Hatton (42-6-2, 16 KO’s) is fighting for the first time since being dominated by Kell Brook when he takes on IBO welterweight champion Chris Van Heerden (18-1, 10 KO’s) on February 2nd in 2013 in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

Van Heerden, #11 IBF, is technically a fringe contender if you ignore his International Boxing Organization strap. Some boxing fans and writers see the IBO title as a major belt, whereas others see it as another empty trinket. Whatever the case there’s no denying that the 25-year-old Van Heerden is little more than a fringe contender at beat. His best wins have come against Sebastian Lujan and Kaziser Mabuza, both of which Van Heerden beat by 12 round decisions recently. Van Heerden was beaten by Nikola Stevanovic two years ago in a 12 round split decision defeat in May 2010. That was Van Heerden’s only defeat of his career.

Hatton, 31, has lost two out of his last three fights in losses to Saul Alvarez and Brook. There’s no shame in losing to either of those guys because their good fighters. However, it’s unclear if Hatton will be able fight hard enough and throw enough shots to get Van Heerden out of there. If Hatton can’t score a knockout he could be in for a long hard fight. Van Heerden has got a got a good chin, so the chances of Hatton getting a knockout in this fight is remote. He’s going to have to be able to fight hard if he wants to get a win. I don’t know if Hatton has enough left to beat a young fighter like Van Heerden after the punishment he’s talen in the losses to Brook and Alvarez.

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