Joe Calzaghe said his BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award was a fitting reward for his success.
Hatton and Calzaghe both came in the top three in the voting
Boxer Calzaghe surprisingly finished out of the top three in 2006 despite an impressive year but he beat Lewis Hamilton by 55,000 votes this year.
"I feel 100% that it's proper recognition for what I've achieved - it's been an amazing year for me," Calzaghe told BBC Sport.
"Regardless of last year, it's amazing to be voted for by the public."
Calzaghe's 2007 saw him beat Peter Manfredo comfortably in April, before stepping up to beat outstanding Danish boxer Mikkel Kessler and unify the world super-middleweight title.
"It's the proudest moment of my career," said the Welshman.
"After such a great year and 10 years as a world champion this is just the icing on the cake for me.
"It's been very hard for me - I've worked 25 years to get where I am today. It was a case of years and years of dedication and commitment, and some talent as well, and it's been great.
I want to retire undefeated and still at the top, and not many fighters get to do that
"I'm tremendously proud, especially with my dad [Enzo], who picked up the Coach of the Year award) winning as well.
"I've had hundreds of texts already, so when I get back to Wales the celebrations will be awesome."
Calzaghe said he had plans for his future in the sport and that he wanted to retire with an unblemished record.
"It's not a case of how many fights do I have left - it's how many more do I want?
"I want to retire undefeated and still at the top, and not many fighters get to do that.
"I want two or three more fights, and then that's the end of it. I want to get a fight in the States and become a two-weight world champion at light-heavyweight and then I'd like to retire."
Calzaghe received the BBC award from Lennox Lewis in Las Vegas after travelling to the USA to support Ricky Hatton in his fight against Floyd Mayweather.
And the 35-year-old said Hatton, who finished third in the public vote, would come back stronger after the first defeat of his career.
"Ricky fought a great fighter but he just got beaten by a better man on the night," he said.
"There's no shame in losing to Floyd Mayweather who is probably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
"He stepped outside his weight division and fought in Vegas and gave a really good account of himself. It's just one of those things.
"He'll come back a better fighter, go back to light-welterweight and win the title again."