THERE IS ONLY ONE FIGHT LEFT FOR RICKY HATTON, THE ONE OUTSIDE THE RING!
By Rich Mazon
Sun, 25 Nov 2012
The fans were there in Manchester, England, twenty thousand strong and fully committed to support their beloved fighter. The most recognizable chant in boxing in recent years filled the air all night and the drums and horns added to the excitement of the night.
Ricky Hatton was ready as well, physically ready. He looked fit and suited for his return in the ring after that devastating loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2009. The man they call “Fat-ton” is admittedly in his best shape in years going to his all-important fight with former champion, Vyacheslav Senchenko of Ukraine.
Hatton started aggressively, just like the fighter that he always is. He stalked Senchenko from the opening bell, throwing hooks to the head of the body of his foe. He pressured Senchenko who had to retreat and move away from Hatton’s pressure.
Hatton landed his hooks and uppercuts to the delight of his hometown fans. A big left hook staggers Senchenko in the fourth which send the Ukrainian boxer backwards.
But Senchenko isn’t a former world champion for nothing. He fought 33 times before this bout with only a lone defeat in his record which came last April in the hands of Paul Malignaggi. He used his jabs to thwart his foe’s advances but it was his right hand that was stopping Hatton’s attack.
Senchenko weathered Hatton’s early attacks and effectively countered with his both hands on the 6th round. A left hook from Senchenko stops Hatton on his tracks in the 7th and his productions from then on increased. Hatton meantime had visibly slowed down from his earlier aggressiveness which gave Senchenko the advantage.
Both Senchenko and Hatton slugged it out as both fighters bear the results of the fight in their faces.
Senchenko was bloodied under his left eye while Hatton’s right eye was swollen as a result of those left hook by the Ukrainian boxer.
The 9th round would prove to be the round that would crush Hatton’s body, heart and the twenty thousand who came tonight to watch him in Manchester.
A wicked left hook to the liver, one of boxing’s most effective weapons emanated from Senchenko onto Hatton’s torso.
Hatton folded immediately and fell to the canvass immediately after absorbing that shot. Hatton tried to recover and beat the count, but he just cannot.
A jubilant Senchenko celebrated as Hatton stayed in the canvass for good after the referee signaled the end to the fight.
This is not what Ricky Hatton had in mind. This is not what twenty thousand fans picture. This is not what the sympathetic boxing world hopes for the boxer from Manchester, England whose battle with depression and drug addiction after his loss in 2009 was a public record.
Tonight was supposed to be the night when Ricky Hatton would successfully not only mount a comeback but also to exorcise the demons that had plagued him in the aftermath of that defeat to Pacquiao.
Tonight is supposed to be Hatton’s triumphant return in the arena that he has never lost at and his family, friends and his legion of fans were there to hopefully witness it happen.
Tonight was supposedly magical for him and all of Manchester.
But this is boxing and the realities of the sport are what Hatton and his fans saw tonight in that ring in northern England. That, dreams of a happy ending cannot be achieved that easily especially after a long layoff in the ring and the way that Hatton has conducted his affairs in that three and a half respite.
Ricky Hatton was heartbroken after his defeat tonight, the same feeling that encompassed him after his loss to Pacquiao. But more so, given the reason he gave for his comeback.
“I am heartbroken. I am absolutely gutted,” said an emotional Hatton after the fight.
“I am sick of…I am not a failure, I am not a failure. But I have to properly think about things. That is not how my career should end but maybe I should start thinking about it,” Hatton added with tears on his eyes.
“It’s a big decision. I dwelled on it too long the last time,“ Hatton remarked.
And this time he did not dwell on it too long, Ricky Hatton announced his retirement after the fight.
But Ricky Hatton knows that the real fight, the one outside of the ring is only just beginning and it is the one fight that truly counts for him.
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