Golden Boy Promotions officially announced today a deal with the VERSUS network to televise the Ricky Hatton vs. Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi vs. Lovemore N’Dou world championship doubleheader.
The fights will air live on VERSUS on May 24 at 3:30 PM ET and will originate from the City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England. The event marks the first time that Golden Boy Promotions and VERSUS will work together to televise a boxing event.
The fight will be televised by Sky Box Office in the United Kingdom. “I’m very excited to bring Ricky’s fight to his American fans through VERSUS,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “This is a step in the right direction for fight fans as we at Golden Boy hope to continue to bring big names and big fights to non-pay TV on cable television. The fights between Hatton and Lazcano and Malignaggi and N’Dou are the perfect start to what I hope will be a long relationship with VERSUS.”
A source close to the Hatton camp: "He has lost valuable sparring time and his sparring partners have been sent home - there's nothing for them to do.
"Ricky has been asked if he wants to postpone the fight but, typical of him, he wants to go ahead with it. He says he has never pulled out of a fight and does not want to start now."
Hatton has not fought in his home city for three years and does not want to disappoint the 55,000 crowd, which will be a post-war British record.
But Hatton, 29, beat Juan Urango to win the IBF light-welterweight title last year, despite suffering from flu.
The fighter is also hoping to use the return against Lazcano as a stepping-stone to IBF title-holder Paul Malignaggi in the autumn, before a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jnr in 2009, as part of his money-spinning three-fight deal with US television network HBO.