Ricky Hatton v Vyacheslav Senchenko - as it happened

How the evening unfolded as Ricky Hatton is beaten by Vyacheslav Senchenko on his return to the ring.

24 November 2012 Last updated at 23:51 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 2345: 

    On that note, it's time for me to go. Ricky Hatton's comeback did not go to plan and that could be the last time we see him in the ring. It's a sad end to a glittering career. Whatever The Hitman decides to do next, he will always be one of the most popular fighters of all time and he can be proud of his achievements over the last decade. Be sure to stay tuned to the BBC Sport website for more reaction and, until then, you can read Ben Dirs's report from ringside. Good night.

  2. 2341: 

    Steve Bunce, boxing journalist, on BBC Radio 5 live: "There is no reason at all now for Ricky to fight on. He took Senchenko and it was all wrong for him. If he beat Senchenko he had a double fight with Malignaggi, first in Brooklyn then back here in Manchester next summer. That was set in stone. He took a risk, and it really was a risk. It was a calculated risk and he has to man up: it went wrong. He also has to walk away, because redemption was in the ring tonight."

    You can listen to live reaction to the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  3.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ryan O'Hanlon "Hitman Hatton, brave men make brave decisions and you did that with Senchenko. You're a credit to yourself and boxing. Very proud!"

    Chris ‏on Twitter: "The key to a great performer is always to leave the stage with the audience wanting more. Career comebacks rarely work out."

    Ben The Red on Twitter: "For Ricky Hatton to come back into the ring was very courageous and brave, even though he lost we are proud of him."

  4.   
    Paulie Malignaggi, WBA welterweight champion

    "Ricky was a bit too aggressive. Will Ricky look at himself in the mirror tomorrow morning and want to punch himself in the face? Nobody would have criticised him for taking a tune up opponent. There's a reason why guys who have been out of the ring take tune up fights. A year ago Senchenko was a world champion - you shouldn't walk back into those fights. I don't know what he was thinking when he took this fight."

    You can listen to live reaction to the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  5.   
    Matthew Macklin, Former European middleweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "If Ricky was to fight Senchenko again it would be a tougher fight second time around. Senchenko looked nervous at the start but as the fight went on he landed more and more and got a swagger. Maybe Hatton can drop down a level and have an easier fight, but he probably won't."

    You can listen to live reaction to the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  6. 2335: 

    While Hatton was devastated with the defeat, he still seems determined not to end his career on a loss. The boys on BBC Radio 5 live are discussing whether he should take a step back in terms of the quality of opponent and take his comeback a bit more slowly. Paulie Malignaggi admits he is disappointed he might not get the chance to fight The Hitman again, and avenge his defeat from 2008.

  7.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "From the fifth round on Senchenko started really snapping Ricky's head back. That really concerned me, and later in the fight Hatton's legs were shaking."

    You can listen to live reaction to the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  8.   
    Paulie Malignaggi, WBA welterweight champion

    "Senchenko was able to land a couple of shots early on, and his confidence seemed to grow from there. Ricky tends to walk in a little recklessly, and Senchenko is a sharp puncher. I though Ricky's aggression had him edging the fight, but Senchenko kept closing in. That's what three years out of the ring will do to you."

    You can listen to live reaction to the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  9. 2331: 

    So what did you think about that? The pain in Ricky Hatton's face was apparent in his post-fight interview. Where does his career rank with the greats, both domestic and internationally? Let us know by tweeting us using #bbcboxing.

  10.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Macey on Twitter: "Ricky Hatton will always be a boxing legend, at least he had the guts to get back into the game."

    Paul Baker ‏on Twitter: "If Ricky really thought he was five rounds up, then he was watching a different fight to me. Brave man, unfortunately the faded star."

    Tally Kalea ‏on Twitter: "Hatton's compassion for boxing is excellent. Defiant in defeat and a very honest guy. Good luck with whatever he does."

  11. 2324:  
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "His jab just didn't work. If he'd got that going his right hand would have fired off like a gun and he would have nailed his target. The longer the fight went on the more I was concerned about him."

  12. 2323: 

    Just to let you know that BBC Radio 5 live are about to begin a phone-in to analyse the fight. Contact the show on 0500 909 693.

  13.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Dream Chaser on Twitter:‏ "Hitman Hatton should be proud! He's made the whole of England proud! He should build on this positively and come back! We love you, Ricky."

    Paul Fisher on Twitter: "Hatton can be proud of turning his life around. Not disgraced in losing to a world-class fighter. Too much too soon tonight."

    Chris Reilly ‏on Twitter: "Unlucky Ricky but leave it alone now mate and enjoy life outside the ring."

  14.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "This was too difficult an opponent to come back to. He was an accurate puncher and difficult. I did think when I saw he'd taken Senchenko he would be the wrong style of boxer for Ricky. Hatton gave it his best shot but he was slowly ground down and started to walk into sickening blows."

    You can listen to live reaction from the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  15. 2314: 

    Ricky Hatton's trainer Bob Shannon, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live: "We are really disappointed, we knew the opponent was excellent. Ricky was getting caught a bit, having lost his concentration. I think the pressure and the build-up to the fight took a lot out of him but he deserves a lot of credit for the way he came back. We will stand by him and see where we go from here."

    You can listen to live reaction from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  16. 2311: 

    A tearful Ricky Hatton, speaking to Primetime: "I thought I was maybe four rounds up but there were clear signs of ring rust. I hurt him a few times, and I was winning. I don't want to make any hasty decisions but I am really heartbroken. It was a good shot, I should have realised he was looking for that. I suppose that is what three-and-a-half years out of the ring does. I think I did alright - this guy only lost his unbeaten record in his last fight. I am just gutted. I am not a failure, that is not how my career should end but I have to have a good think about it now."

  17.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Matt Cousins on Twitter: "Shame for Hatton but he never looked in control towards the end!"

    Craig Deighton on Twitter: "Still a legend. But shouldn't have come back to fight."

    Bablu Miah on Twitter: "Chin up son, your still a true champion."

  18. 2306: 

    It really is heartbreaking to see one of the country's greatest-ever boxers in tears, with a towel over his head. He is getting words of encouragement from his team, perhaps keen to tell him that he has still achieved more than most other boxers do in their career.

  19.   
    Matthew Macklin, Former European middleweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "This is very sad to see. Ricky was so brave. He was behind on the scorecards, very slightly. Hatton was more aggressive and probably landed the bigger shots, but Senchenko was landing shots that Hatton would have slipped a few years ago. It looked like he was feeling the pace after five or six rounds."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  20. 2304: 

    Hatton is in tears. What a horrible end to an evening that offered so much.

  21. 2301: 
    RICKY HATTON IS BEATEN

    Oh no, the dream is over. Ricky Hatton is flat out on the canvas after being floored by a crushing shot to the body. Senchenko wins with a ninth round stoppage. After a worrying couple of minutes on the canvas, he raises himself to his feet and is cheered by the crowd. He is still their hero, but surely that is the last time we see him in the ring?

  22.   
    Matthew Macklin, Former European middleweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "That was a very good round for Senchenko. He is growing in confidence, and Ricky's head is down. He needs to grit his teeth. He keeps throwing hooks but he's missing wildly and he nearly fell down once. When Senchenko comes off the ropes there's a bit of swagger about him."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  23. 2257: 
    ROUND EIGHT

    With just three rounds to go in this 10-round contest, Hatton tries to get to work on the inside and lands a good punch. Senchenko is happy to stand and fight though - both men slugging it out like prizefighters. The Hitman's face is starting to swell up, as BBC Radio 5 live commentator Mike Costello suggests Senchenko is ahead on their points card. Another good right breaks through Hatton's defences as the Ukrainian takes another round.

  24.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "Another close round. Maybe I edge it towards Senchenko. Hatton was much more aggressive and a little more impressive. Senchenko doesn't seem to be hurting Ricky, so he can be encouraged by that. But he is getting hit too much. I have Senchenko a round up."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  25.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Kyle Jardine on Twitter: "Hatton ain't got the stamina. He needs to end this fight soon..."

    Paul Chisholm on Twitter: "Hatton edging the fight overall, but only just - flailing shots and slow defence. Looking tired now too."

    Rob Ellis on Twitter: " Hatton had a bad few rounds but he only needs to land a few good shots and it's over."

  26. 2253: 
    ROUND SEVEN

    A cut has opened beneath Senchenko's left eye - the same one which forced him to be stopped in his last fight against Paulie Malignaggi, the only defeat of his career. He hits back with a powerful right as Hatton tries to land a big shot over the top. The crowd are starting to find their voice again, realising their hero needs them. Another even round.

  27.   
    Matthew Macklin, Former European middleweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "Is Ricky feeling the pace? He was the least effective in that round than in all the rounds so far, and his workrate dipped. He is still coming forward but he was less effective and he ate quite a few straight right hands and jabs."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  28. 2249: 
    ROUND SIX

    Senchenko is trying to dominate the centre of the ring, his confidence clearly growing. He continues to get through Hatton's defences, and the Hitman is having to dig deep. Hatton is throwing a lot of punches, but most are missing the target. Hatton's fitness is going to be tested now, against a man who has gone the distance nine times in his career. The home crowd is starting to get a bit anxious.

  29.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "That was another close round and I think Ricky was caught with too many clean shots. It's to do with the ring rust - he's been out of the ring too long. But Hatton did catch Senchenko with a good right which made his legs buckle."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  30. 2246: 
    ROUND FIVE

    Hatton throws a right hand that catches Senchenko flush in the face. However, his pace has dropped and Senchenko shades the round - catching the Hitman with a good shot at the end as Hatton drops his guard. The crowd have gone a bit quiet. That early knockout is not materialising.

  31.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "I give that one for Hatton, just through sheer pressure. But he keeps getting caught at long range. But Senchenko has got a distressed look on his face. He looks like he could fold if he gets three or four shots in a row."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  32.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jack Cooke on Twitter: "Hatton is looking sharp!"

    Liam Reilly on Twitter: "I think Hatton's going down here. He looks untidy and is getting hit too many times..."

    Howard Horner on Twitter: "Hatton doesn't look to have lost any of his power. Just the craft of boxing in the ring, but that will come back with time..."

  33.  
    ROUND FOUR

    Hatton's face is starting to show some damage. He claims to have tightened his defences, but there is little evidence of this as he gets his head snapped back by some more Senchenko jabs. The Ukrainian mocks Hatton, but the smile is wiped off his face by a flurry of punches late in the round. This is turning into a classic already - Hatton shades that round again.

  34.   
    Matthew Macklin, Former European middleweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "This is turning into a great fight. What a great round of boxing that was. I thought there was more conviction in Ricky's work, but having said that he was getting caught. Maybe he feels he can take Senchenko's power."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  35. 2237: 
    ROUND THREE

    Hatton gets in close in the third round and rocks his opponent with a left hook to the body. He manages to push Senchenko on to the ropes and unfurls a flurry of crushing shots that seem to take the wind out of the Ukrainian. The visitor is starting to feel that famous Hatton punching power and beginning to wilt. Senchenko looks a bit upright and is letting Hatton work away at his body. He is still landing the odd worrying shot himself though.

  36.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "I'd probably shade that to Senchenko. Ricky was a little reckless in that round and didn't land too many shots. The problem for Ricky is he isn't landing his jab. Now Senchenko is feeling a little more comfortable."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  37. 2233: 
    ROUND TWO

    Hatton is ferocious, constantly on the front foot. Senchenko is getting chased around the ring, his only success coming from that dangerous left jab. Can Hatton keep up this pace? But can he afford to keep taking the odd shot considering his record of cuts to the face? He looks a bit ring rusty but he ends the round with a nice uppercut. That was a more even round.

  38.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "There's not much change in Ricky's style! He's still the relentless fighter he ever was. He was caught a few times flush, but he hurt Senchenko and to me he looks emotionally weak and he's not enjoying the pressure. Ricky will get to him soon, and fairly soon he's going to get nailed."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  39. 2226: 
    ROUND ONE

    Senchenko is trying to keep an eager Hatton at bay with his long reach, but the Hitman manages to get some body shots away. He is on the front foot and really trying to unsettle his opponent. However, the Hitman is getting caught with a couple of jabs. The home favourite gets the crowd to their feet with some good body shots late in the round. He won that first round for me.

  40. 2225: 

    Just one more gentle reminder that the fight is being covered on BBC Radio 5 live. A link to the commentary is in the top right-hand corner of this page.

  41. 2223: 

    "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE," announces Michael Buffer. We're almost set. Excited? I know I am.

  42.  

    Matthew Hatton, younger brother of Ricky and a fellow professional boxer, at ringside: "Mentally he seems very focused, very up for the job. He's ready, what else can I say? I just can't wait for the fight to happen now. I'm very proud of him. He's had bad times, but all I can do is support him. I'm always 100% behind him."

  43.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Ian Howard on Twitter: "Hitman time!"

    Simon Jupp on Twitter: "Good luck @hitmanhatton. Boxing has missed you."

    Stephen Cheatley on Twitter: "Looks like Ricky Hatton has got the hunger back. Fans back on form."

  44. 2222: 

    Hatton steps into the ring and turns his back on his opponent, who is bouncing up and down wearing a Manchester United shirt. Over to Michael Buffer...

  45. 2220: 

    Ricky Hatton, of course, is a Manchester City fan and as the blue strobe lights dominate the arena he gets ready to walk into the ring to the tune of Blue Moon. Here he comes...

  46. 2219: 

    Senchenko steps into the ring and he appears to be wearing a Manchester United shirt underneath his robe. Not the wisest move, I wager.

  47. 2218: 

    Senchenko, however, told BBC Sport he will be unfazed by the atmosphere: "I've already boxed at Donbass Arena, which contains 50,000 people. I think that in Manchester the atmosphere will be approximately the same. His fans won't disturb me - I will be concentrating on the fight, and his supporters will not be a hindrance."

  48. 2217: 

    Senchenko is making his way to the ring. It's fair to say he is not the most popular man in Manchester this evening. It is a brave person who stands up and cheers him tonight. The boos are incredibly loud.

  49.   
    Matthew Macklin, Former European middleweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "The first round in particular is very important for both guys. Senchenko could be unnerved by this atmosphere, while Hatton hasn't fought in almost four years, so he doesn't know how he is. But Ricky needn't rush it - it's a 10 round fight."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  50. 2213: 

    Senchenko is getting robed up, ready to walk out in gold and red. He looks calm and collected - this is the biggest night of his life. Sink or swim time.

  51.   
    Matthew Macklin, Former European middleweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "Roberto Duran is in the house, and he's probably Ricky's idol in all boxing..."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  52.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "An atmosphere like this can diminish a fighter or rev him up. Ricky has to make sure this doesn't overwhelm him."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  53. 2210: 

    I was in Nottingham for Carl Froch's fight last week, and the fantastic home crowd certainly got to Yusaf Mack. It's like going into the lion's den. It must be a great buzz for Hatton.

  54.  

    British heavyweight David Price at ringside: "I'm speechless, standing here and listening to this. The fans have taken it up a notch tonight. It's important Ricky controls his emotions on the way into the ring, because this will bring back a lot of good memories. If I was Senchenko I'd look at setting a fast pace from the off, up the ante straight away and try to take Hatton off guard. But Ricky is going to be so energised it'll be hard to stop him."

  55. 2208: 

    Hatton is being put through his paces by trainer Bob Shannon in the dressing room. He looks lean, mean and keen. The noise is deafening. It doesn't matter how ice cool Senchenko might act, he will be rattled by this atmosphere I am sure.

  56.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Peter McBride on Twitter: "Good luck Ricky, finish it off quickly."

    Lee Whittingham on Twitter: "Now or never. Good luck Ricky."

    Gareth Murphy on Twitter: "Thanks for the coverage - I'm stuck at work. If it wasn't for the live text and radio I would be lost! Come on Ricky. Britain has missed you.."

  57.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "I think he's back for the right reasons. This comeback has cleared his mind. He's safer boxing than not boxing. The routine of training every day has given him his life back and his youth. But training in the gym can sometimes disguise how tough it's going to be inside a competitive ring.

    "Senchenko is big but he's mechanical, one-dimensional and easy to work out. If Hatton gets his jab working we'll see an interesting event..."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  58. 2204: 

    Frank Warren, boxing promoter, on BBC Radio 5 live: "When you put into context the problems he's had outside of the ring - his binge drinking, drugs, food and weight abuse - and also some of that was happening when he was still fighting. Then he had a very bad knockout against Manny Pacquiao, and also Floyd Mayweather. You wonder if all that was good for him? It can't have been.

    "But the plusses are that he seems to have changed his life around. He's found some direction and purpose through boxing, and it's cleaned up his act. That's great for him. Whatever happens tonight - whether he looks bad, wins or loses - hopefully he can continue what he's doing outside of the ring in his life. Then he'll be a winner all round."

  59. 2202: 

    Hatton is having his hands wrapped and he will surely be able to hear the strains of 'There's only one Ricky Hatton' from inside his dressing room. Just seen Dev from Corrie in the crowd too. All the big names are there now. We're almost set.

  60.   
    Matthew Macklin, Former European middleweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "There's going to be a fire burning within him. That is a good thing, but he needs to keep a cool head. He doesn't want to get reckless or let the red mist descend. He's come back to the sport that has made him who he is. It will be an emotional night, but he needs to go in there and block all that out, and box."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  61. 2200: 

    "Welcome fight fans to Manchester, England," says Michael Buffer as he starts to whip the crowd up. He's currently announcing the celebrities who are ringside. They include Paul Dickov, Paul Ince and John Hartson. I'm sure those watching in America are excited now.

  62. 2157: 

    I wonder what thoughts are going through Ricky Hatton's head in the dressing room? It will be some party in Manchester tonight if he wins, that's for sure. It's worth noting The Hitman has shed almost five stone, a third of his body weight, to fight at 147lbs tonight. He's down to four small meals a day at the moment - he deserves a kebab after all of this is over.

  63. 2154: 

    And here's a few more opinions from those in the know:

    Tris Dixon, Boxing News magazine: "Ricky can take heart from the job Paulie Malignaggi did on Senchenko, breaking him down and causing his eye to shut before the fight was stopped."

    WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi: "I'm surprised he picked a difficult opponent like Senchenko after three years out of the ring. But Ricky's tenacity will be too much for Senchenko to handle, he'll break Senchenko down one round at a time and I can see Senchenko getting stopped late on, or maybe Ricky winning on points."

  64. 2153: 

    That brings me nicely to some more opinions from the experts. Have a look, see if you agree and let me know via Twitter (#bbcboxing) or text on 81111:

    Former heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis: "Whether Ricky can be the same fighter as before is a huge question. Three years is a long time to be out of the ring; the pressure in Manchester, with all his fans expecting him to win, will be huge and could make it a difficult night."

    Ex-super middleweight world champion Steve Collins: "Hatton seems determined and focused. I think the old Ricky is still there. He's done the right thing by taking a proper fight on his comeback."

  65.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion, ringside for BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ricky Hatton's head will be filled with anxiety at this stage. There's an old saying that aggressive fighters don't come back. They don't have the ability to adapt and change as they age. He will have doubts in his mind.

    "Everybody's here, it's so exciting and the place is absolutely buzzing. We're all waiting to see. We don't known until that first bell rings what way he's going to react. Is he the same fighter that he used to be, or even 85% of the fighter he was? There's a feeling that if he has 85% that's enough to win a world title."

    You can listen to live commentary of the fight from Manchester on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

  66.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Dave Bird on Twitter: "Come on Ricky Hatton. Great fight you have chosen - as ever you've not taking the easy route. Ever the entertainer."

    Jake on Twitter: "Looking forward to Hatton v Senchenko. Hatton looks in good shape and has something to prove after past incidents. Do us proud."

    David Ilori on Twitter: "Ricky said he's going back to basics, the same style that got him KO'd twice, albeit by the pound-for-pound best. Not confident."

    Join the debate by tweeting (#bbcboxing) or by texting 81111, remembering to include your name on any SMS submissions.

  67. 2146: 
    BBC COVERAGE

    Just to let you know that BBC Radio 5 live's commentary has started. You can find a link to the commentary in the top right-hand corner of this page. Get stuck in.

  68. 2145: 

    The only Briton to have fought Senchenko is Wolverhampton's Stuart Elwell (12-4). He told BBC Sport that a flurry of Hatton body shots and upper-cuts thrown at close range should be enough.

    "I think Ricky is the perfect fighter to beat him," said Elwell. "[Senchenko] doesn't like being pushed back, and when I was pushing on to him he didn't seem to have any answers that a fighter of quality would have. Hatton is a pressure fighter and I don't think Senchenko will be able to deal with that. I predict Hatton inside six rounds."

  69. 2141: 

    Paulie Malignaggi is not scared of Senchenko either - he went toe-to-toe with him on his own patch in April and inflicted the only loss of the the Ukrainian's career. "I think Ricky saw that I stopped Senchenko in April, combined with the fact he beat me four years ago, and thought: 'I must be able to handle this guy,'" WBA champion Malignaggi told BBC Sport.

    "I'm wholly aware I'm not a big puncher and that would have been a big part of why Ricky took this fight. But while it's true I stopped Senchenko, it was only stopped on a closed eye."

  70.  

    Lennox Lewis, former heavyweight champion of the world, tweets: "@HitmanHatton Good luck tonight, bro. All the best..."

    Dereck Chisora, British heavyweight, tweets: "It's good to have you back Ricky Hatton. Do your thing. Rock n' roll."

    Chris Eubank Jr, son of the famous fighter, tweets: "Tonight we see how much Ricky Hatton has left after the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fights..."

  71. 2136: 

    Senchenko has an air of menace about him, especially when he starts quoting mobster movies. Once Upon a Time in America, a gritty and at times extremely violent 1984 gangster film, is a favourite of Senchenko's.

    "The movie makes sense to me," Senchenko told BBC Sport. "In it there is a true friendship and treachery. De Niro shows what a real man should be."

    Senchenko sounds exactly like the type of fella I would avoid at 10pm on a Saturday night. I'm not the Hitman though...

  72. 2133: 

    Before any talk of future world title fights, The Hitman has to safely dispose of former world welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko tonight - and that might prove to be easier said than done. The Ukrainian, 35, has only lost once in 33 fights and he has a two-and-a-half-inch height advantage on Hatton. His left hook carries a fair bit of danger - bringing him 21 stoppages in his career - and he is certainly not the easiest opponent to be meeting after three years out of the ring.

  73.   
    Paulie Malignaggi, WBA welterweight champion

    On Twitter: "Senchenko v Hatton is going to be a great fight. I hope @HitmanHatton wins!"

  74. 2129: 

    The wins are racking up for British fighters tonight. St Helens middleweight Martin Murray, like Scott Quigg before him, enjoyed a sixth round stoppage of Venezuela's Jorge Navarro to extend his record to 25-0. It means he picks up the interim WBA title and, more importantly, puts him closer to a world title shot.

  75.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Darragh on Twitter: "Undefeated British fighter v virtually unknown KO artist. Reminiscent of Khan v Prescott. Well, hopefully not..."

    Robert Ladak on Twitter: "Good luck to Hatton. Let's hope Senchenko leaves with some demons of his own tonight."

    Dale Harris on Twitter: "Hatton wins and a world title shot should beckon - should he lose he will quit for good. It's all or nothing for The Hitman."

  76. 2121: 

    I have just seen some interesting pictures from the dressing room area where the Manchester rain seems to be seeping through the roof and causing a bit of a problem. That's the last thing the fighters need in their ring entrance. We'll wait and see how that one develops.

  77.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport, ringside at Manchester Arena

    "Already rocking at the Manchester Arena. This place might need a new roof when Hatton clocks on for work..."

  78. 2116: 

    Hatton will also have a new trainer in his corner - in the shape of Mancunian painter and decorator Bob Shannon. The paint brushes and wallpaper paste have been put to one side for now, as Shannon tries to add the gloss to his new charge's big night.

    "Right from our first training session we hit it off, there was an undeniable chemistry between us," Shannon told The Sun.

    "And I am hoping that, aged 56, I can put my paint brushes away for good and just concentrate on being a trainer.

    "I am hoping that if Ricky does decide to carry on after this bout, then I will still be in his corner for when he gets to fight for the world title again."

  79.  

    Manny Pacquiao, eight-division title holder who beat Hatton in 2009, tweets: "My prayers are with @HitmanHatton on his comeback fight in Manchester today..."

    Carl Froch, IBF super-middleweight champion, tweets: "On the way to watch @HitmanHatton. Good luck mate! The boys from Nottingham are behind you!"

    Joe Calzaghe, former WBO, IBF, WBC and WBA super-middleweight champion, tweets: "Looking forward to watching @HitmanHatton tonight at the MEN Arena. Lots of great memories!"

  80. 2110: 

    So what has changed for Ricky Hatton? What will help him return to the top of the sport? First of all, he believes he has a more measured and mature approach to fight night. "In my two biggest fights, against Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather [who beat Hatton in 2007], I messed up by being too aggressive, too over-eager, trying to jump all over them too quickly," he said.

    "I've got to channel all that fury and anger in a positive way. I can't throw it at Senchenko like I did against Pacquiao, it's got to be controlled, there has to be a game-plan."

  81.   
    Barry McGuigan, Former world featherweight champion

    "On my way to see the Hitman do a number on Senchenko. Good luck Ricky, with you all the way. I'll be calling the fight on BBC Radio 5 live..."

  82. 2105: 

    Hatton's loyal support is legendary throughout the boxing world, and it appears there will be thousands of fans from across the pond wishing the 34-year-old well in his comeback fight. "I was made up when I read a boxing report in America that said if I boxed there again it would be the biggest comeback since Elvis Presley," said Hatton. "I've missed the roar of the crowd." It's certainly 'now or never' for Hatton if his comeback is not to end up being a brief stay at the 'Heartbreak Hotel'. I'll get my coat...

  83.  

    Ricky Hatton tweets: "In the dressing room now, handing over to #TeamHatton..."

  84.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Paul Wickes on Twitter: "I am praying that Ricky Hatton has made the right choice. This guy is tough as nails. What if Ricky doesn't 'have it'?"

  85. 2101: 

    As Ben North alludes to in his tweet below, Hatton still has one of the best followings ever seen in boxing. When you get 2,000 people turning up at Manchester Town Hall for the weigh-in, you know you're going to get incredible support on the night. There will be 20,000 people packed into the Arena and the chances of finding anything more than a handful of travelling Senchenko supporters is about as likely as the Hitman turning down a fry-up tomorrow morning.

  86.  

    BBC Radio 5 live's Ben North at Manchester Arena: "Just seen Hatton's trainer Bob Shannon backstage. He looks very relaxed and is urging the Hatton band to make as much noise as possible."

  87. 2056: 

    Right, let's move on. Since being knocked out in the second round by modern-day great Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas more than three years ago, Hatton has had a big fight to win outside of the ring - one with his demons. Thankfully, he has successfully tackled those problems and is hoping for redemption when he steps back into the ring against Senchenko tonight. "This time I've got a few more things to think about - how I let everyone down, how I can redeem myself," he said earlier this week.

  88.   
    Ben Dirs, BBC Sport, ringside at Manchester Arena

    "That could be the end of Rendall Munroe's career. Already choca at the Manchester Arena..."

  89. 2052: 

    One result to tell you about early on is that Bury super-bantamweight Scott Quigg beat Rendall Munroe with a sixth round knockout. The 24-year-old's body shots took their toll on Munroe, who was stopped for the first time in his career. It was an impressive display by a boxer who seems destined for bigger and better things.

  90. 2050: 
    BBC COVERAGE

    Before we get stuck into previewing one of the biggest fights of 2012, I should let you know there will be live radio coverage of the fight at Manchester Arena from 5 live's Mike Costello and Barry McGuigan from 2145 GMT. There will be a phone-in after the fight when you will get the chance to have your say. If you want to get something off your chest before then, you can tweet us using #bbcboxing or text us on 81111 (remembering to put your name on all submissions). Let me know your predictions, and what you think about Hatton's return. Lovely stuff.

  91. 2047: 

    Good evening fight fans, and welcome to live coverage of Ricky Hatton's much-anticipated return to the ring against Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko. Has the Hitman still got the devastating punching power which made him a former two-weight world champion? What effect has three years out of the ring had on the Mancunian's fitness? And has one of the nation's most famous Manchester City supporters - apart from Frank Gallagher, of course - got one last shot at a world title left in him? We'll soon find out, so go and grab a quick drink and a Saturday night snack and settle in for all the action. It's going to be good.

  92. 2045: 

    Think of Manchester and think City and United, Oasis and Stone Roses, and Coronation Street and the Rovers Return. You may also think about Ricky 'The Hitman' Hatton - a boxer with a global sporting appeal like City and United, an athlete with a rock and roll-like following of thousands, and a man of the people who has suffered soap opera-like highs and lows in recent years. Thankfully, those lows seem to be in the past and one of the nation's favourite boxers is back - and looking as fighting fit as ever.

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