After being floored for the count, Ricky Hatton claims to be ‘a happy man’ ready to enjoy retirement

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Ricky Hatton always seems able to rise.

Looking physically and mentally shopworn after suffering a ninth round knockout loss to Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko last night at the Manchester Arena in England, former WBA welterweight and IBF light welterweight champion Ricky Hatton announced he will never again throw fists in the squared circle.

Hatton (45-3, 32 KOs), awarded the 2005 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year, first shelved his gloves after being viciously knocked onto Queer Street in the second round by Manny Pacquiao in May 2009.

However, “The Hitman,” who previously had only been trumped professionally by prizefighting greats Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) and Floyd Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs), chose to comeback primarily for a morale booster.

“I needed one more fight to see if I had still got it – and I haven’t,” said Hatton, 34, who acknowledged abusing drugs and alcohol to combat suicidal thoughts after his initial retirement. “I couldn’t have done any better. A fighter knows and I know it isn’t there any more. I have got to be a man and say it is the end of Ricky Hatton.”

Hatton, who reported experiencing frequent blackouts during his daylong benders, was stripped in September 2010 of his boxing license by the British Boxing Board of Control after being found guilty of misconduct for drug use.

The tough bloke contends his punishing career and lifestyle eroded his body and skills.

“I got in the best shape I possibly could and if I hadn’t been hit with that body shot I would have just scraped over the line,” said Hatton, whose most impressive triumph came when he took the IBF light welterweight belt from International Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu by TKO in June 2005. “But it’s too many hard fights, I’ve burned the candle at both ends, I’ve put my body through the mire in and out of the ring.”

Despite being floored by the 35-year-old Senchenko (33-1, 22 KOs), who is taller than Hatton and was blessed with a 13-inch reach advantage, “The Hitman” proclaimed to be a content and fulfilled lad.

“I’m a happy man tonight. I don’t feel like putting a knife to my wrists,” Hatton said. “I have got the answers I needed. I can look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I did my best.”

Ricky Hatton is a likable Brit and it’s nice to hear he’s “a happy man” who seemingly realizes, and appreciates, his numerous accomplishments in the ring.

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