Ricky Hatton's comeback bid ended in a deflating knockout loss to Vyacheslav Senchenko yesterday in Manchester, as the 34-year-old superstar was hit with a crushing left hook to the body in the ninth round, from which he could not recover.
After the fight, Hatton was emotional in a ringside interview with Primetime, and announced his true retirement from boxing at the post-fight press conference. But Hatton says that even if he'd left with a narrow points victory, he probably would have retired anyway:
"I found out tonight it isn't there no more. 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."
Hatton (45-3, 34 KO) was up on the cards against Senchenko, but the scores had narrowed to 78-74 and a pair of 77-76 cards. BLH had Hatton up 77-75 at the time of stoppage. If Hatton had gotten up, it would have been a 10-8 round for Senchenko in the ninth, and 85-85 all heading into the final frame. On the official cards, he would have likely been up 86-84 on one card, and down 86-85 on two others. The best he could have likely hoped for would have been a majority draw in the end.
But it's good to hear that Ricky is looking at the experience the way he really should. There's no shame in the way he lost yesterday. He took a tougher opponent than he needed to for this type of comeback, and did that because he didn't want to fight some eight-round creampuff bout. He was Ricky Hatton until the very end, swinging, attacking, bulling forward, and fighting to win.