The much anticipated WBA Interim super bantam title clash between Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe ended in a technical draw last night at the Velodrome in Manchester, England.
Former European Champ and WBC title challenger Munroe used his edge in experience to take the fight to his rival in the first frame, pressuring British Champion Quigg with success.
But the younger local man made an adjustment in the second, gaining distance and using a height advantage to reign in the aggression of his southpaw antagonist while countering with speed.
The third frame saw the boxers settling in for what looked to be a promising scrap before an accidental head clash produced a severe laceration above the right eye of Munroe, ending the bout at 0:43 of the round.
The resulting technical draw ensures a rematch between Quigg, 24-0-1 (17), and Munroe 24-2-1 (10), later in the year.
The undercard saw what was perhaps the last stand of former British and European light middle kingpin Ryan Rhodes, 46-6 (31), who was gunned down in the seventh by 26 year old Belarus slugger Sergey Rabchenko, 21-0 (16).
35 year old former two-time world title challenger Rhodes made good use of his unorthodox, switch-hitting style early on to keep his willful pursuer at bay, dialing in crisp counters although Rabchenko's infrequent scores carried much more weight when they landed.
Rhodes nailed Rabchenko in the third with a powerful stream of leather in the third but could not better his work as the young Eastern European simply walked through the Sheffield stylist's follow up attempts.
Rabchenko gradually took control of the bout as the ringcraft of Rhodes could not maintain proper distance any longer, culminating in a full-blooded left hook to the stomach that put Rhodes down to a knee where he remained to end the contest at 2:54 of the seventh.
Popular local middleweight Martin Murray, 24-0-1 (10), made his comeback from a controversial WBA title draw to Felix Sturm last December with a 98-93 points verdict over French Champion Karim Achour, 13-3-2 (2).