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RICKY HATTON STOPPED IN MANCHESTER

 

From cheers to tears: Ricky Hatton stopped in nine as The Hitman is floored in Manchester

Former WBA world champion Vyacheslav Senchenko KOs Hatton with The Hitman's famous punch to end dreams of a successful comeback

Ricky Hatton's comeback started with cheers, but ended in tears as the Mancunian hero was stopped in the penultimate round of his 10-round contest with former WBA welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko on Saturday night.

Ironically, Hatton was finished by his own honey punch - a powerful left hook to the body - as The Hitman tasted defeat on home soil for the first time in his professional boxing career.

Hatton started in lively fashion, looking to pressurise Senchenko, but after holding the advantage in the first half of the fight, Hatton began to slow, and Senchenko started to outbox for former two-weight world champion.

The Hitman was behind on the MirrorSport scorecard going into the penultimate round when he fell to a solid let hook to the body as the round was coming to a close.

Hatton dropped to his knees, clearly in pain from the shot, and couldn't bring himself to get back to his feet before the count of ten, consigning him to the third defeat of his career, all by stoppage.

British hero Hatton was hoping to prove something to himself, his critics and his demons after seeing his life fall to pieces since the Pacquiao loss.

He had insisted that, win or lose, just being back in the ring was an achievement following three years of depression, personal problems and battles with drink and drugs.

He decided not to warm up against a soft touch and instead opted to take on credible opposition in the form of former WBA champion Senchenko, whose only loss was in his last bout against former Hatton victim Paulie Malignaggi.

The 35-year-old eastern European's record of 32-1 (21KOs) heading into the bout was evidence of his solid stock while Hatton sought to add another win to his proud 45-2 (32KOs) tally.

Given an emotional welcome as he was roared into the ring by a 21,000-strong capacity crowd to the familiar rousing sounds of 'Blue Moon', Hatton proved he is still comfortably the biggest draw in British boxing.

Hatton started aggressively without landing anything of note, until a left hook and short right connected. Senchenko landed a right of his own, though, as the home fighter looked to shake off the ring rust and did enough to win the round.

Senchenko, boasting a significant height and reach advantage, landed a nice body shot early in the second but Hatton looked classy as he evaded a hook to the jaw and landed one to the ribs.

Hatton's chin stood up to a solid right and he came at Senchenko, before an uppercut on the bell ended a very tight round.

Hatton had success in the third with a succession of left hooks thrown with his entire body weight behind them. He took a stiff left not long after but remained the aggressor, bobbing his way in and landing trademark hooks and body shots.

A straight right by Senchenko landed smack on Hatton's nose, however, and was the best shot of the round.

A straight right followed by a body shot in the fourth were decent from Hatton and another right stung Senchenko on the way in.

Hatton's left hooks were wild but occasionally successful but Senchenko sporadically landed hard rights to give him food for thought.

Two rights from Senchenko early in the sixth again gave evidence that Hatton is not a shot fighter as the Briton swallowed them easily. He did, however, seem to lose the round as the first signs of tiredness crept in.

Senchenko, who had picked up a cut under the left eye, landed a lovely left hook of his own in the seventh as he had another good round.

The Ukrainian landed several power shots which did seem to take their toll in the eighth as his momentum built and another right on the bell irked the flagging Hatton.

The Englishman, whose only other previous loss had come against pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather, would have been glad at this stage the bout was only slated for 10 rounds rather than 12.

Hatton was floored in the ninth by a left to the body which sent him crashing to the floor in agony. The crowd, in a frenzied panic, urged their hero to rise but the brave Hitman was simply in too much agony as referee Victor Loughlin waved the bout off with eight seconds left in the round.

Hatton was visibly pained for minutes afterwards but could perhaps take some comfort from the continuous renditions of 'There's only one Ricky Hatton' which rang around the arena.

Sourcewww.mirror.co.uk/sport/boxing/ricky-hatton-stopped-in-nine-rounds-1456009

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Ricky Hatton

 A swing and a miss: After three and a half years out of the ring, Hatton's timing was understandably off the mark / Getty

Ricky Hatton

 Down and out: Ricky Hatton fails to beat the count after a body shot in the ninth round  /  Getty

Ricky Hatton

 Time to wave goodbye? Ricky Hatton salutes the fans after his unsuccessful return to the ring  /  Getty

 

 

 

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