By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
RICKY HATTON is hoping WBA world middleweight champion Felix Sturm “does the honorable thing” by giving Martin Murray a rematch.
Murray was on the wrong end of a hotly-disputed split-points decision when the pair met in Mannheim, Germany last month.
Since then, Sturm’s camp have refused to be drawn on a possible rematch and have already set his next ring date for April 13.
No opponent has been named and Hatton told me: “I think Felix has a point to prove and we would certainly be ready for Martin to fight him again in April.”
The controversial win over Salford-based Murray was his second close call, having defeated Birmingham’s Matt Macklin with another split decision in June.
Hatton said: “Sturm has won his last two fights by the skin of his teeth and now he has the chance to prove his doubters wrong. I have plenty of respect for him and his team, but I think he should now do the honorable thing by agreeing to a rematch with Martin.”
Hatton hopes Murray can be the first of his stable of boxers to get a world title chance this year.
The former two-weight world champion is certainly making his mark in the promotional ranks and also has his trainer’s licence.
He has five British champions in Gary Buckland (super-featherweight), Anthony Crolla (lightweight), Murray (British and Commonwealth middleweight), Scott Quigg (super-bantamweight) and Ashley Theophane (light-welterweight).
In addition, Hatton also has Craig Lyon (English bantamweight champ), Rendall Munroe (WBA international super-bantamweight), Joe Murray (IBF youth featherweight), Sergey Rabchenko (WBA intercontinental light-middleweight) and Denton Vassell (Commonwealth welterweight).
In a fine 2011, Hatton saw his younger brother Matthew and Ryan Rhodes both challenge for the WBC light-middleweight crown.
Hatton, the European Promoter of the Year, added: “Everything is going really well and I have really enjoyed getting involved in promoting the sport I love so much.
“With respect to our domestic promotional rivals, to have achieved these goals, bearing in mind we have been in existence for a fraction of the time, shows British boxing can expect big things from us in 2012.
“We have already achieved so much in such a short time and now I am hoping Hatton Promotions can get our first-ever world champion this year.”