Matthew Hatton’s hopes of becoming a world welterweight champion this year with a potential defence of the belt against Amir Khan in March have been shot down by the WBA, who have refused to sanction a challenge for Ismael El Massoudi’s interim title.
Hatton was hoping to announce the bout this week, but the decision means he will not fight again this year.
“I’ve trained nine weeks for the fight. For it to fall through – I’m absolutely gutted,” Hatton told The Manchester Evening News.“I could not believe how late it was getting. The venue was only booked a couple of weeks previously. I was so confident of winning the fight. But the way the whole thing was handled – I’m devastated.
“This was a world title fight. I was assured it would be sanctioned. It’s been going on for weeks and months.”
The younger brother of former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton is now contemplating his next move after a promising display against WBC light-middleweight champion Saul Alvarez in March has failed to take him forward in the way he planned.
“I’ve only had two fights this year and I’m always in the gym. All that hard work, training and sparring – I’m gutted” he said.
“Financially, two fights are not enough. I need to think long and hard about the future. I thought the Alvarez fight would be a real springboard. One fight in Blackpool is not good enough.”
With chances of a bout against Khan receding, Hatton be looking to contenders such as Vyacheslav Senchenko and the vacant IBF belt instead.