Lewis backs Hatton to cope

  • Last Updated: November 26 2012, 7:38 GMT

Lennox Lewis is confident Ricky Hatton will cope with his second retirement better than he did with his first.

Lennox Lewis: Expects Ricky Hatton to cope with retirement

The former two-weight world champion returned to the ring on Saturday night after three and a half years away to fight Ukraine's Vyacheslav Senchenko, but his comeback ended with a ninth-round knockdown.

He immediately announced it would be his last fight and insisted he was at peace with the decision after finding out he no longer had what it takes.

Hatton's struggles since his 2009 defeat by Manny Pacquiao have been well documented, with the 34-year-old battling drink and drug problems and sliding into a depression that left him suicidal.

Hatton is confident he will not return to the bad old days this time and Lewis, the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, echoed that sentiment.

He told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "I hope that he came away with some good things because it's very important we have to improve upon ourselves all the time and think positively.

"Hopefully he's learned from all those bad things that happened and he can go forward and lead a better life. I think he should be all right.

"I've always got love for him. I feel he's got a lot of good people around him and I don't think he's going to fail in anything he does. He has to hold his head high."

Hatton has already made strides into the world of promoting fights as well as opening his own gym in Hyde, where he now trains other fighters.

Lewis expects him to enjoy success in the next phase of his life, and he said: "We step in and we want to be great athletes but every athlete knows there's always a B plan, always something to do after.

"Our sport shouldn't be our life in that sense, we shouldn't have to say, 'This is the only thing I know'. It should be, 'I've completed that goal, now I set new goals for myself'.

"I would say to him just take it easy and enjoy life. It's really all about enjoying family, people that love him. There's always something you can do.

"He had a good promotional company and I think he should go forward with that. I know he's got a lot of insight into boxing, he could be a great trainer."

Lewis felt age simply caught up with Hatton in the fight, although Senchenko is a year older at 35.

"Our minds always think we can do things but our bodies always tell us we're wrong," said Lewis. "I could see mentally he was trying to do a couple of things but it wasn't happening too well."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week