Hatton On Scales

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 staggering comebacks.

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 set.

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 right crosses.

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 future. 

25/11/2012 02:26:39