Hatton opts to hang up his gloves for good

FORMER world champions Ricky Hatton has formerly announced his retirement from boxing.

Hatton hasn’t been in the ring since his brutal defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in May 2009 and, despite being linked with several big-name fights since, most notably against – Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr – the Hitman has now called time on his glittering 14-year professional career.

The likeable Mancunian, famed for the ferocity of his body punching, peaked in the mid-point of the last decade.

He beat Jon Thaxton to become the British light-welterweight champion in 2000 and went on to dominate the division, with his most notable victory at that weight coming in 2005 against IBF champion Kostya Tszyu.

Hatton went on to challenge WBC kingpin Mayweather in Las Vegas – only to be stopped in the 10th round. Undeterred by his first loss in boxing, Hatton returned to winning ways with victories over Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi before facing pound-for-pound champion Pacquiao.

“I am very upset. It’s a very sad day for me,” said Hatton. “I know it is the right decision, though. I’ve known it was the right thing to do for 18 months to be honest.

“It’s a bit of a relief to finally do it. It’s been hovering over my head for such a long time.

“These last two years have been really frustrating. I hit rock bottom and it almost drove me insane. There’s nothing more I love than training for a fight but I have no dreams left now.”