Head clash stops domestic bout
Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe must put world title ambitions on hold as their interim WBA contest in Manchester was ruled a technical draw.
The first two rounds of the highly-anticipated domestic contest between the British super-bantamweights 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.
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.
Munroe's customary come-forward style was in evidence from the outset as he looked to force a taxing pace upon British champion Quigg, nine years his junior.
But the former European king was largely frustrated by some eloquent defensive work from the Bury prospect, who fired back with some precise combinations to the body.
Both fighters looked to force the issue in the third when the untimely end came.
Quigg connected with a crisp right to the temple but as each man lunged in - Munroe from his southpaw stance - heads came together and the severity of the injury was soon apparent.
With the in-ring combat concluded, scenes of violence then broke out in the crowd as an anti-climactic evening ended on an unsavoury note.
In the evening's main support Sheffield light-middleweight Ryan Rhodes saw his dreams of becoming a two-time European champion brutally dashed by Belarus' Sergey Rabchenko.
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.
Elsewhere, St Helens middleweight Martin Murray stayed on course for another world-title shot with a routine 98-93 points win over French champion Karim Achour in his first outing since December's battling draw with WBA king Felix Sturm.