MANCHESTER, United Kingdom – Former world champion Ricky Hatton suffered a heart-breaking return to the ring on Saturday when he was defeated by Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Senchenko.
After a three-and-a-half year retirement from the sport, in which the 34-year-old Englishman battled alcohol and drug problems, as well as depression, he was outclassed by Senchenko who took victory on a ninth-round stoppage.
“I thought I was maybe four rounds up but there were clear signs of ring rust. I hurt him a few times, and I was winning. I don’t want to make any hasty decisions but I am really heartbroken,” Hatton told Primetime television.
“It was a good shot, I should have realised he was looking for that. I suppose that is what three-and-a-half years out of the ring does. I think I did alright – this guy only lost his unbeaten record in his last fight.
“I am just gutted. I am not a failure, that is not how my career should end but I have to have a good think about it now.”
Hatton’s personal problems started when he was knocked out by Filipino great Manny Pacquiao in two rounds in May 2009.
The Manchester boxer was left haunted by the savage defeat – one of only two professional losses – and his life descended into chaos.
A former world champion at light-welterweight and welterweight, Hatton piled on the pounds as he drank excessively.
But on the eve of Saturday’s fight, he had appeared to be in good physical and mental shape.