BOXING: Ricky Hatton to walk away from sport after Senchenko defeat
It may go down as one of the briefest comebacks ever, but Ricky Hatton insists he has no regrets over his ill-fated return to the ring, which ended with a vicious knockout by Vyacheslav Senchenko.
Returning to the sport for the first time since a crushing defeat to Manny Pacquiao in 2009, the former light welterweight champion was brought to tears as he realised his career was over for good, having initially suggested he could box on.
Heading into the fight Hatton said his urge to don the gloves again was all about seeing what he had left after spending the last few years battling drugs, alcohol and depression.
But despite the result, he insists he’s at peace with the answer.
“I needed one more fight to see if I had still got it - and I haven’t,” said the 34-year-old, whose record now reads 45 wins and three losses. “I’m a happy man. I have got the answers I needed. I got the opportunity and I got the answers and no matter how upsetting it is, I have got to be a man and say it is the end of Ricky Hatton.”
Hatton opted to not return against a soft touch with former WBA champion Senchenko losing just once in 33 fights while also carrying a significant height and reach advantage.
Hatton started aggressively but his guard began to drop as his ring rust took hold. And the Ukrainian silenced the parochial Manchester crowd when he unleashed a lethal shot to the ribs that finished the local hero.
Hatton, whose only other defeat came against pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, is now looking forward to focusing on his family and his promotional activities, and he’ll do so knowing he had nothing left to give.
“I’m a straight-shooter and I tell the truth. I can look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I did my best, but there is always an excuse to find,” a bruised and battered Hatton said. “I got in the best shape I possibly could but if I hadn’t been hit with that body shot I would have just scraped over the line with a points win and I honestly think I would still be telling you all the same thing.
“A fighter knows and I know it isn’t there any more. It’s too many hard fights, I’ve burned the candle at both ends, I’ve put my body through the mire in and out of the ring but it doesn’t matter how hard I train, I couldn’t have done any better.”