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WBC sanctions Alvarez-Hatton fight for 154-pound belt

February 16, 2011 |  3:10 pm

The World Boxing Council on Wednesday sanctioned the March 5 bout at Anaheim's Honda Center between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Matthew Hatton as a championship fight for the organization's 154-pound title.

The popular Alvarez (35-0-1, 26 knockouts) is poised to inherit the belt left vacated by Manny Pacquiao, who claimed his record eighth weight-class belt in November with a unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium.

Pacquiao's manager, Michael Koncz, explained last week that the Filipino superstar didn't feel comfortable at 154 and got "too beat up" by Margarito, opting to return to welterweight (147 pounds) for his May 7 bout against Shane Mosley in Las Vegas.

England's Hatton (41-4-2, 16 KOs) is the brother of former junior-welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton.

The March 5 main event will be televised by HBO.

-- Lance Pugmire