'It's the end of Ricky Hatton'
Ricky Hatton knows his boxing career is over. He admitted it after losing to Vyacheslav Senchenko on Saturday night.
“I needed one more fight to see if I’ve still got it – and I haven't," Hatton said after the bout in Manchester. "I found out tonight it isn't there anymore.
"I can look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I did my best, but there is always an excuse to find.
"I got in the best shape I possibly could but if I had not been hit with that body shot I would have just scraped over the line with a points win. But I honestly think I would be telling you all the same thing.
"A fighter knows and I know it isn't there anymore. I got the opportunity and I got the answers and, no matter how upsetting it is, I have to be a man and say it is the end of Ricky Hatton," he added.
Former WBA welterweight champion Senchenko, who has lost just once in 34 fights, winning 22 by knockout, was a stern test for Hatton whose hopes of another world title fight were left in tatters.
"I thought I was maybe four rounds up but there were clear signs of ring rust," a tearful Hatton said just after the fight.
"I hurt him a few times, and I was winning. 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 lost his unbeaten record only in his last fight," Hatton added.
Britain's former welterweight and light-welterweight world champion, who had quit after a devastating two-round knockout by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009, lost three of his 48 fights.
His best performance came in 2005 when he stopped Australia's Kostya Tszyu to add the IBF light-welterweight title to the WBU belt he already held.
He had a perfect 43-0 record until he was floored by Floyd Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas in 2007 and was never the same again.