Former two-division titleholder Ricky Hatton has officially retired as an active boxer after admitting he needed some “closure.”
“The Hitman,” as he was known when he ruled the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions, lost just twice during an impressive 47-fight career, which included 35 wins via knockout.
Hatton, 32, who last fought in May 2009 when he was stopped by Filipino king Manny Pacquaio, will now concentrate on growing his increasingly successful and influential Hatton Promotions stable.
"In my heart, it's something I've known I had to do for some time. All this thinking 'Will I fight again or not?' has not been fair on myself, " said the pride of Manchester, England, who used to be followed across the boxing globe by a huge army of travelling supporters.
"Holding onto a dream that is not really there has not done me any favors, to be honest. In fact, it's literally driven me insane at times. I feel it is about time that I gave myself some closure on the issue.
"This is the hardest sport in the world, and if your heart is not really in it anymore, then you have to walk way."
Hatton had a spell in rehab in 2010 after revelations of drinking and drug abuse hit the headlines, and he has confirmed that his family and close friends believe he is making the right decision at the right time.
“Away from boxing, I have so much to look forward to," he said. "My son Campbell is growing up so fast I wonder where the years have gone, and I am about to become a dad for the second time, and that cannot happen quickly enough. My partner Jennifer and I are so excited. She is my rock.
“There are so many people I want to thank for supporting me throughout my career and who made The Hitman’s journey possible. There have been amazing highs and, although I always wanted to be a world champion, I went beyond my wildest dreams.
“Beating Kostya Tszyu was my greatest triumph, but there were plenty of other great nights and memories. Defeating Jose Luis Castillo, unifying the light welterweight title against Carlos Maussa, winning a world welterweight title when I fought Luis Collazo, beating Jon Thaxton to become British champion, fighting in front of almost 60,000 fans on Manchester City’s ground.
“It seems endless, and when I look at my record, the only men to beat me were Manny and Floyd (Mayweather) – still No. 1 and 2 in the pound for pound lists on the day I retire.”