Matthew Hatton failed in his bid to emulate brother Ricky by becoming a world champion after losing a unanimous points decision to Saul Alvarez in last night’s WBC light-middleweight title bout in California.
Alvarez was never troubled during the fight at the Honda Center in Anaheim and deservedly claimed a 119-108 decision to emphatically underline the 20-year-old’s reputation as an emerging force.
Hatton was the heavy underdog going into the contest against the prodigiously-talented Mexican, who is now unbeaten in 37 contests since turning professional as a 15-year-old, knocking out 26 opponents.
The result sees Alvarez become the youngest man to win a belt previously held by such luminaries as Tommy Hearns, Oscar de la Hoya, Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Jr — and vacated by pound-for-pound superstar Manny Pacquiao last month.
Hatton, the European welterweight champion, had hoped his greater experience in a 47-bout career spanning the past decade would prove decisive, but as it turned out Alvarez had the edge from the opening bell, landing a flurry of head shots as the 29-year-old Englishman failed to win a single round.
The fight took place at a catchweight of 150lbs (68kg) — 4lbs inside the light-middleweight division’s 11-stone limit. Alvarez missed the weight by 1.4 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in, meaning he stands to lose 30 per cent of his fight purse.
It also opened the door for the smaller Hatton to stand behind a legitimate reason to pull out of the fight, but he had no regrets about going ahead with the bout — although he confirmed that he would now be returning to more familiar territory.
“He’s a fantastic fighter, but he was just too big,” Hatton said.
“He never really hurt me. It was just a size difference. I want to go back down to my natural weight at welterweight, and hopefully I’ll get another shot there.
“When you get an opportunity to fight for a title, you can’t turn it down.”