Hatton Declines September De La Hoya Fight

LONDON -- Junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton has rejected an approach for a September bout against Oscar De La Hoya.

"It would be too soon, Richard only fought two weeks ago," Ray Hatton, the boxing champion's father and manager, told British Broadcasting Corp. Sport. "Oscar likes to fight in September because of Mexican Independence Day, but Richard is chilling out at the moment."

Hatton outpointeed Juan Lazcano on May 24 to retain the Ring magazine junior welterweight title and has an agreement in place for a fall fight against titleholder Paulie Malignaggi.

De La Hoya's scheduled Sept. 20 bout against Floyd Mayweather was canceled after Mayweather retired last week.

However, Hatton is hoping Mayweather will come out of retirement because he wants a chance to avenge a loss last December in a WBC welterweight title match. It was Hatton's first loss in 44 fights.

"Obviously, Richard would have liked to have gone over that ground again because he thinks he never gave it his best shot in the first fight," Ray Hatton said. "And you can never say never with Floyd, maybe if the money was there in 12 months he would change his mind."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press