Matthew Hatton to eye Amir Khan if he beats Kell Brook

By Marc HigginsonBBC Sport
Matthew Hatton
Matthew Hatton

Matthew Hatton believes a shock win over the unbeaten Kell Brook will open the door to an Amir Khan fight.

The British pair fight for the WBA Inter-Continental and IBF International welterweight titles at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on Saturday.

Hatton, brother of ex-world champion Ricky, says he is peaking at the right time and has set his sights on Khan.

He said: "He is eyeing a move up to the welterweight division, so a clash with the winner of this fight is natural."

Manchester man Hatton added: "Amir is a fantastic fighter, he is somebody I respect a lot."

The 30-year-old is determined to mark his 50th career fight with a landmark victory.

Sheffield's Brook, 25, has won all 26 of his career bouts, including 18 stoppages, but Hatton is desperate for another crack at a world title following his defeat to Mexican sensation Saul Alvarez in California last year.

"Even though I stepped up in weight and gave away a lot of size on the night of the fight - Alvarez was 10lbs heavier than me - looking at what he has done to his opposition before and after our contest fills me with confidence," Hatton told BBC Sport.

"Alvarez did not hurt me - and I didn't really feel outclassed - I just couldn't cope with the size difference.

"I got a lot of respect from that fight but I still lost. That experience has made me even hungrier to succeed - and even more confident.

"I have come down to my natural weight and it has always been my ambition to become world champion at welterweight. I know beating Kell Brook will give me the opportunity to do that.

"I think I am definitely at my peak now. I'm an improving fighter who is getting better with age and experience and, even though this is my 50th professional contest at 30 years of age, fighters go on a lot longer these days.

"I think the next three or four years can be the biggest and best of my career."

While he is taking Brook's challenge seriously, Hatton is not overawed by the task in front of him.

"I think Kell Brook is a talented fighter and he is being billed as the next superstar of British boxing," he said. "Whether he is that good, I am not too sure but we will soon find out.

"He has got plenty of power, so I certainly won't be underestimating him - but I won't be overestimating him either.

"I know what I can do and I think I have a good chance of winning the fight. I am the underdog and Kell is fighting in front of his home crowd so the pressure is on him. I go into the fight with everything to gain and nothing to lose."