Towers claims title but it is despair for Rhodes

Sheffield light-middleweight Ryan Rhodes saw his dreams of becoming a two-time European champion brutally dashed by Belarus’ Sergey Rabchenko at the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday night.

The 35-year-old former two-time British titleist slipped to 46-6 after being undone by a chilling left hook to the body six seconds from the end of round seven.

Rabchenko, trained by Hatton who also promotes Rhodes, moves his perfect professional record to 21 victories with 16 of those coming inside the distance.

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Sheffield’s Richard Towers, a 32-year-old heavyweight who trains out of Brendan Ingle’s Wincobank gym, won the vacant European Union title with a technical knockout of Gregory Tony.

The result was announced as a tko but was essentially a retirement after Tony turned away claiming a damaged arm. Tony was down once in the second round and three times in the eighth. Towers improves to 14-0.

British super-bantamweights Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe must put world title ambitions on hold as their interim WBA contest was ruled a technical draw.

The first two rounds of the highly-anticipated domestic contest bubbled under nicely before an accidental clash of heads at the start of the third left Leicester’s Munroe with a deep cut above his right eye.

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Blood poured from the 32-year-old’s wound, leaving referee Howard Foster with little option but to end the contest early and call a draw, as the scorecards can only be consulted after four completed rounds

An anticipated showdown between the winner and Commonwealth champion Carl Frampton must now be placed on the back burner, with a rematch expected to be arranged between the two fighters from Ricky Hatton’s promotional stable.

St Helens middleweight Martin Murray stayed on course for another world-title shot.