By Chris LaBate
According to the Manchester Evening News, Matthew Hatton (42-5-2, 16KOs) is close to a deal to challenge Ismael El Massoudi (36-3, 14KOs) for the WBA's interim-welterweight title. El Massoudi won the title with a twelfth round stoppage of veteran Souleymane M'baye in July. Hatton hopes to beat El Massoudi in order to force a championship fight for the full crown, currently held by Vyacheslav Senchenko. The long term goal for Hatton, is to capture a major title at 147 and use it as a bargaining chip to set up a future fight with Amir Khan.