By Paul Upham: IBO welterweight boxing world champion Lovemore Ndou and challenger Matthew Hatton both made weight at Thursday’s official weigh-in. The fight will be held on Friday night November 13 at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke, Staffordshire, presented by Hatton Promotions.
The South African born 38 year-old Lovemore Ndou 47-11-1 (31) from Sydney, Australia, weighed in under the welterweight limit at 145lbs.
“Everything is going really good,” Ndou told SecondsOut. “I am under weight and feeling strong. My training has been great.”
There has been a lot of interest in Ndou’s repeated claims since arriving in the UK last weekend that Hatton is a “donkey”.
“That’s what he is,” repeated Ndou. “He called me a trial horse. I’d rather be a trial horse than a donkey. I’m going to beat up this kid. I don’t make exact predictions in a fight except that I will win. I’m not going in there looking for a knockout. I’m just going to take him to school. I will box him and if a knockout comes, it will be a bonus. I will make him realise that he doesn’t belong in the same ring as me.”
28 year-old Matthew Hatton 37-4 (14) from Manchester, Lancashire, weighed in on the limit at 147lbs.
“Lovemore has fought some of the best fighters in the world and I am under no illusion that he will be fearful of fight me,” conceded Hatton. “But I am so comfortable going into this fight. My preparation has been going really well. I am a firm believer that fights are won in the gym.”
“He is a level above any other opponent,” continued Hatton. “I have faced in the past, but I feel I am ready to do that. It’s now or never.”
At the weigh-in, Ndou also had one eye on Hatton’s older brother Ricky Hatton, the former undisputed junior welterweight world champion, who is promoting this fight. The South African is pushing to fight “Hitman” Hatton in 2010.
“Ricky looks like a light heavyweight,” laughed Ndou. “He has put on a lot of weight. He is saying that he is going to have a holiday and then he will make a decision about his future.”
Both boxers were confident of victory 24 hours before their IBO world title match.
“I am going to make all my Australian and South African fans very proud,” promised Ndou.
“Lovemore has never been stopped and I have never been stopped,” observed Hatton, “so I think it is going to be a long fight and very entertaining.”
The Ndou-Hatton fight will be televised live on Sky Sports in the UK and Main Event Television in Australia.