x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Ricky Hatton retires from boxing after suffering ninth round defeat in comeback bout

A fight-stopping punch to the stomach from Vyacheslav Senchenko was enough to call time on the boxer's attempt to return to the ring.

Ricky Hatton fails to beat the count after being knocked down by Vyacheslav Senchenko
Ricky Hatton fails to beat the count after being knocked down by Vyacheslav Senchenko

Ricky Hatton announced his retirement from boxing following his ninth-round knockout by Vyacheslav Senchenko after admitting: "I needed one more fight to see if I had still got it - and I haven't."

An emotional Hatton said he would devote his future to his family and his promotional activities after coming to the conclusion to call it a day despite having initially suggested he may consider fighting on.

The 34-year-old's 10-round welterweight comeback fight was his first time back in the ring since a devastating second-round knockout by Manny Pacquiao in 2009, with many wondering if the Mancunian former two-weight world champion had anything left in the tank.

He decided not to warm up against a soft touch and instead opted to take on credible opposition in the form of former WBA champion Senchenko, whose only loss was in his last bout against former Hatton victim Paulie Malignaggi.

The 35-year-old eastern European's record of 32-1 (21KOs) heading into the bout was evidence of his solid stock while Hatton sought to add another win to his proud 45-2 (32KOs) tally.

Despite the vocal baking of a sold-out hometown arena, Hatton laboured at times before succumbing to a painful body shot in the ninth round which left the crowd devastated and brought a premature end to his comeback bid.

"I found out tonight it isn't there no more," Hatton said afterwards.

"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.

"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 burnt 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.

"I'm a happy man tonight. I don't feel like putting a knife to my wrists. 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."