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Van Heerden defeats Hatton

By Scott Gilfoid: Making his second defense of his IBO welterweight title, champion Chris van Heerden (19-1, 10 KO’s) defeated Matthew Hatton (43-7-2, 17 KO’s) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Sandton Convention Center, in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. The final judges’ scores were 118-110, 117-112 and 116-112.

Hatton didn’t have the power to hurt the younger, taller, 25-year-old southpaw Van Heerden, and he ended up soaking up a lot of punishment in this one. Hatton was hurt in the 6th, 7th and 8th rounds by hard shots from Van Heerden, but he was able to weather the storm by getting in close and holding on. Van Heerden looked pretty awful too.

Van Heerden had zero inside fighting skills, and that seemed to be the refuge that Hatton chose to take again and again in the fight when he was getting it from the South African. Both fighters threw countless rabbit punches throughout the fight, and I can’t remember ever seeing a referee give so many warnings without taking points off.

Referee Howard John Foster might as well have not even been there because his warnings were ignored both fighters, and never did anything other than warn. Besides the rabbit shots there was tons of clinches initiated by both guys.

Hatton was able to land some good shots every now and then when he’d leap off of his feet to land punches. I mean, it was dreadful form by him, but given how limited Van Heerden was it didn’t matter. He wasn’t skilled enough to make Hatton pay for his terrible form.
Van Heerden was cut over the right eye in the 3rd round, and the cut really bothered because he was constantly dabbing at it with his closes.

In the 7th, Van Heerden lost his mouthpiece halfway through the round, but referee Foster failed to see it happen and so Van Heerden fought the second half of the round without a mouthpiece. In the last seconds of the round he hurt Hatton and had him bent over.

Overall, this was a terrible fight. Hatton needs to think about retiring because if he can’t beat someone like this then he needs to think about hanging up his gloves. As for Van Heerden, he’s not very good. In fact, I can’t see him ever winning a world title. If he’s okay with just being the IBO strap holder then more power to him, but that’s about all I can see him accomplishing. The power isn’t there, and he’s just a tall fighter without much power or any kind of inside game.

Other boxing results on the card:

Kaizer Mabuza UD 8 Isaac Hlatshwayo
Matty Clarkson TKO 7 Tshepang Mohale

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