Ricky Hatton bowed out with his head held high
When Ricky Hatton dropped to his knees in the ninth round of his much-anticipated comeback fight against Vyacheslav Senchencko after a crushing shot to the body, it was all over. Three and a half years after ending the first part of his career, flat on his back at the hands of Manny Pacquiao, he was to suffer the third defeat of his career.
Many people had exclaimed their surprise at his decision to make a comeback after so many years out of the sport.
Comebacks for boxers never end well and many people will write this latest one off as yet another failure. However, for Ricky Hatton this fight wasn't all about winning and losing. It was about regaining the pride and honour in himself that he felt he had lost in the intervening three-year period.
The crushing nature of his loss to Pacquiao had left Hatton battling some very dark demons. He has always been guilty of over indulgence between fights, happily admitting that he enjoys nothing more than a pint of Guiness and a Big Mac when he is not in the middle of training camp.
However, it wasn't just the food and the alcohol that were problems for one of Britain's most popular boxers of all time. This time there were drugs involved and he has readily admitted that he has contemplated suicide when at his darkest moments. He has struggled to fill the void in his life that boxing used to fill. He needed to come back to see if he still had it and he needed the discipline in his life that boxing gave him.
He can now retire with absolutely no regrets. He came back and gave it his all. Just because that wasn't good enough, doesn't make him a failure. Instead of ending his career in a different country, dazed and on the flat of his back, he finished standing tall, a hero with the home crowd singing his name.