Ricky Hatton Vs. Michael Stewart

By Larry Tornambe


Ricky Hatton Vs. Michael Stewart

See What Michael Stewart Has To Say

Boxingtalk has been close to the situation involving #4 IBF Junior Welterweight, Michael Stewart and #3 IBF Junior Welterweight, Ricky Hatton. The fight, for early October, will be announced today, according to Stewart and his manager, Keith Stoffer.

"(Viv) Harris didn't want to go over there and fight him, but I am going to England to fight Ricky Hatton" Stewart said, "but I still have a fight on August 26th and I have to get past that first."

Stewart prefers to stay busy, and frankly, needs to keep his weight down and his skills sharp, "I am learning. I still have 16 days before the fight and I am at 146 pounds. This fight (on the 26th in Wilmington, Delaware) will springboard me to my fight with Hatton." Stoffer and Stewart want this fight on the 26th. They see it as a smart move in regards to giving "No Joke" Stewart a target for conditioning and sharpening his tools, "we'll still have 5 weeks" said Stoffer of the time between bouts.

Michael came back quickly in a 10 rounder versus Carlos Escobar in June after his April bout with Sharmba Mitchell. Mike wasn't in the best condition for that return bout but still won by TKO. It taught him to get right back on the bags and in Philadelphia's Champs gym. The opponent for the 26th fight has not been signed yet, so we can't announce it, but "it's a fighter perfect for Mike's style" revealed Stoffer. He alluded to the guy being experienced and not a set-up. But the important factor for Stoffer is "to keep Mike focused." Come October rough-guy Hatton and "No Joke" Stewart will fight for the #1 IBF spot. Stewart is confident about a win in Wilmington and pushes aside his dislike for flying to "go over there and bust Ricky Hatton's ass."

Stewart is a throwback to fighters who had 10 fights a year and is bound to be noticed by Boxingtalk's rating chairman and the other alphabet groups. Don't think Hatton will win just because you've seen him fight on TV more than you've seen Stewart. Stewart looks for "a big fight after that fight (with Hatton)' but I have to win on the 26th first." Also take into account the amount of attention Hatton has received for potential "big fights". Stewart has received very little and yearns for that status.

If you can make it to Kahunaville in Wilmington, Delaware on August 26th ($50 and $30 - 302 571-8402) you'll get a preview of what Stewart is taking to England when he matches up with Ricky Hatton.