The fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Matthew Hatton on March 5 at the Honda Center in Anaehim, Calif., on HBO will be formally announced at a 1 p.m. news conference Friday at El Mercardo in downtown Los Angeles.
Alvarez, a rising 20-year-old junior middleweight contender, has been a sensation in his native Mexico and is trying cross over into the U.S. market. He is coming off a dramatic knockout of Carlos Baldomir in September and a one-sided decision over durable Lovemore N’dou in December.
Hatton, the European welterweight champion, has not enjoyed the success of his brother – the now-retired Ricky Hatton – but has fared well against solid opposition and is undefeated in his last nine fights, including a draw with N’dou.
Most important for Alvarez (35-0-1, 26 knockouts) is that Hatton (41-4-2, 16 KOs) has a recognizable name, which would give another victory a bit more weight.
“I believe Matthew Hatton has emerged from the shadow of his brother,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “He’s put together an impressive streak of wins and is now the European 147-pound champion. He has been undefeated for quite a while. I think he’s coming into his own.”
Schaefer said he and HBO officials are discussing the possibility of Jason Litzau and Adriene Broner fighting on the undercard.
Litzau is coming off a stunning split-decision upset of Celestino Caballero in November. Broner, an explosive prospect, is coming off a first-round knockout of John Revish on Saturday.
Roberto Guerrero and Michael Katsidis were tentatively slated to fight on the card but Katsidis pulled out because of the floods in his native Australia.
The news conference is open to the public.