Ricky Hatton's chance to fight for the WBA welterweight title moved one step closer to reality as a federal judge ruled the WBA is free to sanction next week's bout between Hatton and Luis Collazo for its world title. The decision came mere days after the plaintiff in the case, Souleymane M'baye, through attorney Judd Burstein, asked the judge to order Hatton-Collazo to be a non-title bout. The judge refused. "The WBA is permitted, if it so wishes, to sanction as a welterweight championship match the bout between Hatton and Collazo," wrote Judge Denny Chin, denying Burstein's request. The ruling also provided that M'baye must get the next shot at the WBA 140-pound title that Hatton vacated last week, but the WBA had already offered M'baye that exact opportunity previously in writing. M'baye and his promoter Frank Warren have not yet indicated whether they will accept the offer to face Raul Balbi for the vacant strap, but it would seem to be a very winnable fight for M'baye. Remember where you heard it first! 6:50 PM EST.