Boxing: Body blow to Hatton's hopes of redemption

The Hitman's comeback ends in tears – and finally he throws in the towel

the men arena

The most famous – and certainly the most hyped – comeback in British sporting history ended in tears for Ricky Hatton here last night. Just as he was in his last fight against Manny Pacquiao three years ago, he ended up on the floor, knocked out in the ninth of a 10-round contest by the former world champion Vyacheslav Senchenko.

The ending was the one we feared, Hatton's attempt at redemption culminating in a crushing defeat eight seconds from the end of the ninth when he was left writhing on the floor in agony from a wicked left hook to the ribs.

It left Hatton gasping for air and although his 20,000 passionate fans urged him to rise and beat the count, he struggled to his knees but couldn't make it. He needed medical attention and the crowd was hushed but they applauded him – as did Senchenko – as he left the ring for the last time.

He looked positively skeletal, drawn and gaunt from his massive weight reduction – five stones lost since his boozing and binging days. Although he came out fighting like the old Hatton, it transpired that this time he was to be more the Miss Man than the Hitman.

He did amass an early points lead and there was certainly no faulting his aggression. He swung often, but more often than not wildly, and as the rounds ebbed away, so did his stamina. It was simply a fight too far. By the eighth, the right side of his face under his eye was swollen from Senchenko's slick jab.

Earlier on, with every punch cheered, Hatton did clip the 35-year-old Ukrainian a few times but Senchenko simply opened his arms as if to say: "You're not hurting me." Hatton had moved forward in familiar fashion, but this was not the Hit Man of old, certainly in the four rounds before the end.

So, the second coming of the Manchester messiah ended in disappointment but at least he had given it a go, unwise as that turned out to be. He had promised to unleash his pent-up emotion on Senchenko, beaten only once in 33 fights, and courageously he attempted to inflict a victory that would have led to an even more disastrous second venture for a world championship.

A heavier puncher than Senchenko would have taken him out much earlier, so open was Hatton to his accurately delivered jab and occasional body shot. It was the latter which did for him.

Before the fight, Hatton had said that one of the reasons for his return after a three-year absence was that he did not want his kids to remember him KO'd and on the canvas the way he was in Las Vegas by Pacquiao. They will now have to live with that memory. Hatton talked – and how he talked – a good fight, baring his soul, hoping to shed his demons.

Indeed, the night had been built up phenomenally as a Hatton Happening. No expense had been spared to make this a gala occasion. They even brought in the world famous MC Michael Buffer, though Hatton's ardent followers needed no urging to get ready to rumble.

The place rocked to the strains of 'Blue Moon' and the inevitable "There's only one Ricky Hatton". They were still singing the same tune as he left the arena but surely this had to be a valedictory serenade. I had made Senchenko ahead by three rounds, giving three to Hatton mainly for his go-forward gumption. It was sad to see him go, looking much older than his 34 years.

"I'm really heart-broken, gutted," he said. "I worked so hard. It was a very good shot. I'm a champion and a fighter." His trainer Bob Shannon added: "He looked old at times but whatever he decides to do, the team will stand by him." Then Hatton made the decision for himself, recognising that he had thrown the last dice. "I'm a happy man because I've found the answer," he said afterwards. "At least I know I don't have it any more. It was the answer I needed. I gave it my best shot but it wasn't the old me in there. I'm not going to kid myself. It just wasn't there any more. But I still feel I'm a winner. I'm not going to put myself and my family through that again. But I did all I could. I looked at myself in the mirror and knew it was over. So thank you everyone, that's the end of Ricky Hatton."

Scott Quigg, recently voted Britain's best young boxer of the year, added to his burgeoning reputation when he stopped Leicester's former bin man Rendall Munroe in six rounds to win the WBA international super-bantamweight title. The 24-year-old from Bury, now undefeated in 25 fights, was always technically superior with his quick punching.

The Welshman Gary Buckland retained his British super-featherweight title when Salford's Steve Foster Jnr retired at the end of the eighth, also suffering a series of heavy body shots and a head cut.

There was also a blistering performance from the unbeaten middleweight Martin Murray of St Helens, who confirmed his status as a genuine world title contender as well as claiming the WBA interim belt by stopping Venzuelan opponent Jorge Navarro, also previously unbeaten, in the sixth round.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Developer - Scotland

£40000 Per Annum Plus Package + Bonus: The Green Recruitment Company: The Gree...

Head of Digital Marketing, Hampstead,London

To £55kpa (12 Month Contract): Charter Selection: Major household name charity...

Head of Digital Marketing Manager, Hampstead,London

To £55kpa (12 Month Contract): Charter Selection: Major household name charity...

Service Technician

£30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitment Company...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil