Boxing - Hatton's comeback ends in ninth-round knockout

Vyacheslav Senchenko put in a breathtaking performance - and a brilliant left hook - to crush Ricky Hatton in the British fighter’s first defeat on home soil.

The Hitman's highly anticipated return to the ring ended in tears on Saturday night, as one crunching body shot sealed the Brit's first ever defeat in England.

"I'm heartbroken. I thought I was winning but there were clear signs of ring rust," said Hatton.

"Bearing in mind I've been three and a half years out I thought I was doing all right.

"I'm sick of losing. I'm not a loser. I'm so sorry. But maybe I've got to make some decisions."

The 10-round welterweight fight marked the first time the 34-year-old had stepped into the ring since his brutal second-round knockout by Manny Pacquiao in 2009.

A passionate Manchester Arena crowd were there in numbers to show support for Hatton against formidable competition - a fellow former world champion who only lost his belt in April against Paulie Malignaggi.

Hatton looked the more dangerous early on, shooting off the blocks to dominate round one in a ferocious manner, chasing Senchenko around the ring and trying his best to fend off the Ukranian’s threatening left jabs.

A few Senchenko shots did make contact, but that didn’t throw the Hitman off his front foot, as he maintained a relentless pace.

But what the Brit had in fitness he lacked in timing and intensity, and as Senchenko’s confidence grew, Hatton slowed considerably.

In round seven a cut opened beneat Senchenko’s left eye – the same one which forced him to be stopped in his last fight against Paulie Malignaggi.

But that didn’t stop him retaliating with a powerful right as the pair slugged it out until the end of round eight, punctuated by a few wild misses from Hatton, who looked wobbly on his feet at times.

It all ended in the penultimate round, when Senchenko unloaded a mighty left shot to Hatton's ribs which left the Brit buckling to the canvas and unable to get on his feet for the final count.

On the undercard, Scott Quigg put in a highly impressive performance as he stopped Rendall Munroe in the sixth round of their super-bantamweight rematch.

Quigg peppered Munroe with body shots in a rematch of the June's technical draw which was stopped in just the third round after Munroe suffered a nasty cut above his right eye.

Quigg knocked Munroe down twice in the sixth round before the referee stopped the fight .Talk will now increase about a potential British superfight with Northern Ireland's Carl Frampton.

Martin Murray also impressed as he beat Venezuelan Jorge Navarro with a six round stoppage to defend his interim WBA middleweight belt.

A one-two combo dropped Navarro and his corner then threw in the towel.

Murray now hopes to secure a fight with pound-for-pound superstar Sergio Martinez and could even fly to Martinez's native Argentina for the fight.