Ricky Hatton's return to the ring ended in disappointment when
he was stopped by a body shot in the ninth round.
"The Hitman" decided to lace up his gloves once again because he
found himself with new hunger following a well-publicised battle
with his personal demons.
And with more than 19,000 vociferous fans packed into the
Manchester Arena, the stage was set for one for boxing's most
But with just seconds remaining in the penultimate round a solid
left hook to the ribs from Vyacheslav Senchenko left Hatton hunched
over on the canvas and despite his best efforts he could not beat
Victor Loughlin's count.
It was the kind of torso crunching blow that Hatton has made his
trademark during his glittering career.
Hatton, 34, had started brightly enough, taking the fight to the
former WBA welterweight champion.
In the first round, the Manchester favourite forced Senchenko
back to the ropes and attempted to connect with his left hook, but
the Ukrainian visitor managed to get home the odd straight counter
as Hatton pressed forwards.
A session later, Hatton detonated a right hand to the temple
which put Senchenko on to the retreat.
But the question being asked by several people at ringside
centred around whether or not Hatton was putting too much into his
swarming attacks and if he'd be able to maintain the high pace he'd
The real signs of success for Senchenko came in the third when
he managed to step away from Hatton's salvos and fire off solid
In the middle rounds, Hatton continued to win the sessions
through his high workrate and willingness to take a shot to land
one of his own.
Senchenko was cut under his left eye in the seventh, but he
wasn't the only won showing battle wounds as Hatton was not heavily
marked up around his right cheek.
And the Ukrainian, who came in with an impressive 31 - 1 (21
KOs) record, found more reasons to be confident in the eighth as he
found the target with his piston-like jab several times, before
scoring the knockout a round later.
Despite their disappointment, The Hitman's fans showed their
loyalty by continuing "Hatton Wonderland" long into the night.
At an emotional post fight press conference, Hatton announced
that he will not be boxing again and said that he will be focusing
his energy into his family life as well the careers of Hatton
Promotions' upcoming talent.
The mere fact that he made a return at all should be applauded
and we're sure that everyone wishes him all the best for the