Matthew Hatton often fought his career in the shadow of his older brother Ricky, but he was in his own right a very decent operator himself, which gets lost in comparison of his brothers’ achievements, not helped by having many fights on the undercard of Ricky’s big nights.
Boxing on the undercard of shows headlined by Ricky, however, did raise his exposure in the process, but I feel it undermines Matthew’s own achievements in the ring.
Hatton lost a fight in 2008 to Craig Watson for the Commonwealth welterweight title, coming up short on the judges’ cards by 116–112, 117–112 and 118–111. However, he then went on a long unbeaten run to prove himself in his own name.
Decent fighters like Ted Bami and Ben Tackie were victims in that unbeaten run, only a disputed draw with Lovemore Ndou spoiled that little spell in his career. The run continued and he won the vacant European welterweight title on points against Gianluca Branco in 2010.
Hatton then went on to make two successful defences of his European title turning back the challenges of Yuriy Nuzhnenko on points and Roberto Belge who he stopped in the opening round of their fight in Bolton. Sadly for Hatton, his winning run would come to an end after the win over Belge.
In 2011 Hatton went over to America to challenge the great Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez for the WBC light middleweight title. Canelo wasn’t the fighter he is today, but he was still a formidable opponent for anyone let alone Hatton.
Despite losing on points by scores of 119–108 on all three judges scorecard, Hatton made his opponent work for his win and of course lasted the distance, and that performance looks better today when you consider what Canelo has achieved since.
In 2012 Hatton took on the up-and-coming Kell Brook, and despite losing again, Hatton went the distance and put in an incredibly gutsy performance in lasting the full 12 rounds with Brook. The Sheffield man was excellent against Hatton and turned in one of his best performances, but Hatton played his part despite losing by wide margins on the cards.
Hatton in 2013 went to South Africa to challenge for the IBO welterweight title against Chris Van Heerden, Hatton again lasted the distance but never fought again.
Hatton finished with a record of 43-7-2 and while not matching his brothers’ achievements he should be remembered for his achievements also, he was a vastly underrated fighter.