Ricky Hatton said he felt “happy” in retiring after the former world champion’s comeback bout against Vyacheslav Senchenko ended in a ninth-round knockout defeat for the Briton on Saturday.
A tearful Hatton admitted at a press conference he had painfully discovered he was no longer a force at elite level after sinking to his knees from a left to the kidneys in a non-title welterweight bout at the Manchester Arena.
Hatton, roared on by a passionate crowd of 20,000 in his home city, kept missing with air-shots whereas former World Boxing Association (WBA) world champion Senchenko hardly missed at all from the seventh round onwards.
However, Hatton insisted afterwards he was “happy” in not prolonging his comeback any further following an initial ring exile of more than three years.
“I gave it my best and that’s the end of Ricky Hatton,” he told a news conference in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“I’ve got no complaints. It’s well documented how bad it got for me, and I needed to put a few demons and ghosts to bed. I feel I’d already won before I got in the ring,” he said.
“I got myself into the best shape ever, but it’s not there anymore. If I don’t call it a day now, I will never do it. I’ve got the answers. I was crying and heartbroken in the ring, but I’m happy,” Hatton said.
Before Saturday’s bout, Hatton said he had come out of retirement for “redemption” against Senchenko after battling problems with alcohol, drugs and depression that saw him balloon in weight following a defeat to Manny Pacquiao and even contemplate suicide.
However, Hatton was adamant losing to Senchenko would not be the catalyst for renewed personal turmoil.
“I’m a happy man, and I don’t feel like putting a knife to my wrist and killing myself,” he insisted.
GUERRERO V BERTO
AFP, LOS ANGELES
Robert Guerrero retained his World Boxing Council interim welterweight world title on Saturday, emerging from a brutal battle with Andre Berto with a unanimous decision.
Guerrero knocked down Berto in the first and second rounds, but Berto recovered to take the slugfest to the end.
The two battled toe-to-toe in the 12th, the crowd noise so loud that the referee couldn’t hear the bell to end it.
‘MACHO’ CAMACHO DIES
AP, SAN JUAN
Former championship boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho died on Saturday at the hospital in Puerto Rico where he had been unconscious since he was shot in an attack in his hometown.
Camacho went into cardiac arrest in the pre-dawn hours and was then taken off life support and died shortly after, said Dr Ernesto Torres, the director of the Centro Medico trauma center in San Juan.
Camacho’s mother, Maria Matias, said on Friday night that she had authorized removing him from life support after his three sons had arrived from the US mainland and had a chance to see their father for the last time.