By Paul Upham: IBO welterweight boxing world champion Lovemore Ndou arrived in London on Saturday and immediately taunted Manchester’s Hatton brothers Matthew and Ricky.
“This is the way to lure Ricky Hatton into a fight with me,” Ndou told SecondsOut. “When I beat his brother Matthew on Friday night and give him a whooping, Ricky will have to fight me.”
38 year-old Ndou 47-11-1 (31) faces Matthew Hatton on Friday night 13th November at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke, Staffordshire, televised live on Sky Sports in the UK and Main Event Television in Australia.
Openly stating his goal of getting into the ring with Ricky Hatton, the former undisputed junior welterweight world champion, Ndou suggested that fight could be held in South Africa in 2010, immediately prior to football’s next World Cup.
“That would be a huge fight for us,” he said. “That would be a whole new platform in terms of world wide recognition.”
Asked if it was a mistake to be looking ahead at Ricky Hatton before beating Matthew Hatton, Ndou replied, “No, I am a professional. I am seasoned fighter. Ricky Hatton is the co-promoter of this fight. At this stage, there is only one person I am concentrating on and that is his brother, Mathew Hatton. Right now, Matthew Hatton is the one I want to beat up. Ricky is another name in the future.”
South African born Ndou is highly critical of the boxing ability of the younger Hatton brother and labelled him a “donkey”.
“If you are running a stable of racehorses,” said Ndou, “and you have a donkey in the stable, when you put him in with real racehorses, that is when you will expose him. I can say the same thing about Matthew Hatton. He has been hanging around with his brother and all of sudden he thinks he is a great fighter. Come November 13, I am going to expose him and make him realise he is just a donkey. He doesn’t belong in the same ring as me.”
28 year-old Hatton 37-4 (14) has had four straight wins since losing to Craig Watson in May 2008, but will be facing his toughest match on Friday. Ndou says he can see nothing that will trouble him.
“In his last couple of fights, he has tried to change his style and box a little bit,” Ndou observed, “instead of being a come forward fighter that he has always been. If he tries to box, he is going to make it even easier for me. I am going to hit him with my right hand.”
After commencing his training camp at home in Sydney, Australia, where an eye cut almost caused the fight to be postponed, Ndou has spent the last three weeks in South Africa, working with trainer Harold Volbrecht.
“I’m really looking forward to this fight,” said Ndou. “I have been training in South Africa in the high altitude. The fact that I am training around my people is an extra motivation. When I walk around the streets and see how tough my people are doing it, it reminds me of where I came from and how hard I had it. It makes you want to work harder.”