Ricky Hatton retires after Vyacheslav Senchenko defeat
Former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton has announced his retirement from boxing following his loss to Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester.
Hatton, 34, had not fought since 2009, but his return to the ring on Saturday ended with a ninth-round stoppage.
Ricky Hatton's career
- Born Stockport, 6 Oct 1978
- Turns pro in 1997
- 21 fights unbeaten and becomes British light-welterweight champion in 2000
- Wins WBU light-welterweight title in 2001
- Stops IBF light-welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu in Manchester in 2005
- Points victory over Luis Collazo in 2006 sees him become WBA welterweight champion
- Awarded an MBE but loses first fight, knocked out by Floyd Mayweather Jr in December 2007
- Beats Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi in 2008 but knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009
- Announces on 14 September 2012 that he will fight again
- Retires on 24 November 2012 following defeat to Vyacheslav Senchenko
"I needed one more fight to see if I had still got it - and I haven't," he said. "I couldn't have done any better.
"A fighter knows and I know it isn't there any more. I have got to be a man and say it is the end of Ricky Hatton."
Hatton announced his return to the ring in September, 14 months after initially calling time on his career.
His opponent Senchenko, while a year older, had only one defeat on his record and proved more than a match for Hatton in front of 20,000 fans at the Manchester Arena.
Hatton started brightly and fought aggressively, but his defences weakened as he tired. A body shot to his ribs in the ninth ended the fight, and Hatton left the ring in tears.
"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," he admitted.
"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."
"It isn't there any more". They are the saddest words in boxing - and the sweetest. He has made the right decision to hang his gloves up, safe in the knowledge there is indeed only one Ricky Hatton and there will never be another like him. Journalists who had covered Hatton's career queued up to deliver eulogies at the post-fight news conference, which finished with a round of applause. Hatton might not be the greatest fighter this country has ever produced but he might just be the most loved.
Hatton suffered a painful knockout in his previous fight in Las Vegas in 2009 against Manny Pacquiao.
He retired following that defeat, but suffered personal problems outside of the ring and Hatton said his return was a chance of redemption and an opportunity to make his friends and supporters "proud".
Despite the loss on Saturday, he insisted he had achieved his goal: "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 can look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I did my best."
Former European middleweight champion Matthew Macklin was ringside for Hatton's comeback fight and believes 'The Hitman' made the right decision.
"It is the right thing to do," Macklin told BBC Sport. "He was a shadow of his former self on Saturday night.
"However, we shouldn't mourn that defeat - instead we should celebrate what has been an amazing career.
"We should talk about how good he was. He is one of the greatest British fighters, certainly one of the most exciting.
"It is hard to compare him with fighters from different eras but he is certainly the most popular British fighter ever."
Former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis said he was confident Hatton was in a better place, mentally, to cope with retirement this time.
He told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme: "I hope that he came away with some good things because it's very important we have to improve upon ourselves all the time and think positively.
"Hopefully he's learned from all those bad things that happened and he can go forward and lead a better life. I think he should be all right."