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Boxing: Hatton gives up his IBF crown.

IBF LIGHT-WELTERWEIGHT champion Ricky Hatton is to surrender his title after refusing to fulfil his mandatory defence against Ben Rabbah.

The Manchester boxer, who won the belt after beating Kostya Tszyu last summer, is stepping up a weight to take on some bigger names and feels Rabbah is not a worthy opponent.

"I step up a division to fight Luis Collazo in May for his WBA welterweight title and after that there should be a few big name bouts for me," Hatton said.

"They would be career defining fights for me - and with respect to Rabbah he cannot be counted among the big names."

CAPTION(S):

STEPPING UP: Ricky Hatton
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 29, 2006
Words:110
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