• Ricky Hatton v Vyacheslav Senchenko

Hatton: If I don't win I'll retire - for good

ESPN staff
November 23, 2012

Ricky Hatton has promised to retire for good if he loses to Vyacheslav Senchenko - but the Englishman looks nailed on for a world title shot if can win convincingly upon his return to the ring on Saturday.

Hatton will end a three-year absence from professional boxing at the MEN Arena this weekend, determined to prove to himself he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.

But if he loses the 34-year-old has promised to step away from the sport for good, saying he is now better equipped to deal with retirement than he was three years ago - when his weight ballooned and he got involved with various addictive substances.

"I'll quit if I lose," Hatton said. "I've suffered depression and it is something I will have until the day I die. But Ricky Hatton now... I feel so much more relaxed - comfortable with myself.

"There's a spring in my step, I'm happy at home. You could say that I feel as if I have won already no matter what happens in the fight.

"Of course I don't want to lose to Senchenko, I want to win another world title. But if the worst happens, so be it. I know I can get up on Sunday morning and look at myself in the mirror and say, 'It didn't come off, you haven't got it anymore, so go and be the best promoter and trainer you can be'.

"I think I can do that, but three years ago? No chance. Ricky Hatton today? Yes."

There is extra incentive for Hatton to pull off a comeback victory, however, with WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi confirming that he would love to defend his belt against 'The Hitman'.

Malignaggi is currently recovering from a broken hand that will keep him out for the next few months, but flew to Manchester to tell Hatton on Thursday that he would be more than willing to fight him again.

Hatton will not just have to win against Senchenko but win well, however.

"I'll be ready by early April which I believe suits Ricky's schedule," Malignaggi said. "I'll be rooting for him because while a rematch between him and me is a big fight he will have to look good to give added momentum to the interest in America."

He added: "Ricky needs to show he's back big time because it wouldn't do my street cred much good to take him on again if he doesn't look like the Hatton of old."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.