"I have no complaints. After three and a half years, and I've documented the story, where I was and where I've been and how bad it had got. I needed to put a few things to bed, put a few demons to rest, and a few ghosts to sleep. I said before the fight, win, lose, or draw, I feel I've already won. That hasn't changed. I still think I've won. I've turned around and said, 'Of course, I'd like to fight for a world title. I'd like to fight this guy, I'd like to fight that guy.' But before I do, I said, 'Let me prove myself November 24th.'
"And we found out tonight: It wasn't there no more. I said to you, and I'd like to think you've known me long enough now to know that I'm a straight shooter. I say the truth. And I said, after the fight, if I can look at myself in the mirror, even if I did get beat. If I can look at myself in the mirror and go, 'Rick, you know what, you should be proud of yourself. You give it your best.' Well, I've just looked at myself in the mirror. I did give it my best.
"My team are saying to me, 'Don't make any rash decisions. You were four or five rounds up against a former world champion, who'd only lost one in (33). It was one body shot,' and everything like that. They are right, but that's what I did three years ago, when I retired the first time. I was making excuses.
"There's always an excuse to find, isn't there? 'Well, it was Mayweather, and it was Manny Pacquiao, they're the two best pound-for-pound. It was a bad training camp, wasn't it?' You're able to pick these things out of the air. You want to make an excuse, you'll find them. The top and bottom of it is today, I needed to find out if I still have it. And I haven't.
"I got in the best shape I could possibly get in. Bob Shannon really whipped me up into top shape. I wish I'd have trained with Bob a few years ago, to be honest. Some of the stuff that Bob did was absolutely miraculous that we did in the gym. I think I was four rounds up. But I think even if he hadn't caught me with that body shot, and I'd got over the finish line and just scraped over with a points win, I still think I'd be telling you the same thing.
"A fighter knows when they're in there, and I knew. It just isn't there anymore. It's too many hard fights. I burned the candle at both ends. I've lost four and a half stone in the build-up for this. In the ring, you know, I put my body through the mire. Obviously, I lived by the sword and I die by the sword. I put my body through the mire out of the ring. It didn't matter how much I trained. I was sharp. I couldn't have done anything better. My sparring was great, my movement was great and everything. That bell went, and whether I was four rounds up or not, I know. I don't need anyone to tell me.
"What should I do, then? Should I dwell on it like I did last time? 'Ah, you've still got it, Rick. You can have one more go. It was Mayweather. It was Pacquiao.' I know, and I'm not going to put myself through that torture again. I'm not going to put Jennifer through it. I'm not going to put my loved ones through it. If I don't do it, if I don't draw a line in the sand now and call a day on my boxing career now, I'm never going to do it.
"I got the answers. Obviously, in the ring, I was heartbroken, I was crying, and no doubt, I'll be crying tonight. But I'm happy. Honestly, I'm happy. I needed to go in there and find out, and I found out. It's not there no more. And I'd like to think I've got the respect, like I've always done from the fans for after three and a half years, picking a former world champion. Talk about starting at the deep end. I needed to find out if I could mix it again at world level, and I got my answer. I can't.
"I've had some great fights. Some great wins. I've never done anything easy. It didn't come off tonight. I think, I'll watch the tape. I think I was four or five rounds up. I felt I was winning, but everything was like heavy weather, wasn't it? Even though I was four or five rounds up, everything -- a fighter knows when he's in there, everything was forced, wasn't it? I don't need, you know, what's it gonna take? Someone put a gun to my head and go, 'No, you'll be alright.' It's not there no more.
"I'm very, very proud. I got the answer. I worked hard. I got my body in shape. I'm a happy man now. I don't feel like putting a knife to my wrists. I don't feel like killing myself. I don't feel like -- I feel happy. I got the answers I needed tonight, and I'm very proud of the team. Everyone at Hatton Promotions. You all know who they are. Jennifer, my whole team. All the gym lads of Bob Shannon's that helped me through it. Everyone that's been there for me, to help me, to give me the best opportunity.
"But I found out, and as upsetting as it is, I think I'm being the man now and saying, 'Listen, I give it my best. It wasn't there. And that's the end of Ricky Hatton.'
"I'd like to thank my fans. The fans that turned out again tonight were absolutely phenomenal. I think if there's one thing they aren't proud of me for, I got knocked on my ass again. But I am proud to say, and you may think this is arrogant but I don't really care to be honest at the minute, but it'll be a long time before anyone brings crowds like I brought. And I'm very proud to take that title into retirement with me."