sport

Munroe quits after defeat

Josh Warrington defended his Commonwealth featherweight title by forcing veteran Rendall Munroe to retire on his stool after seven rounds.

Munroe, who was unbeaten in six European title fights and fought Toshiaki Nishioka for the WBC title, looked a shadow of his former self for a second fight in a succession and called time on his career in the post-fight interview.

Warrington was by far the sharper in an impressive opening session, doubling up with the left hand and dominating the exchanges with Munroe caught going forward and back.

The former binman had been found out in his last fight against Lee Selby and again he appeared unable to get his power shots off, often lunging in when Warrington had already moved on.

Munroe paced the third round better from a distance but Warrington resumed his forward momentum with a strong fourth, consistently laying traps for the Leicester man and landing swift combinations that stopped his opponent in his tracks.

Ineffective

The former world title challenger really should have known better than to get caught in the corner by a jarring left hand, Warrington lashing the body from both sides and causing Munroe to turn and back out of things.

Warrington, 23, continued to dominate with his youth seemingly too much for his ageing opponent to handle. Munroe's right jab was an ineffective tool and it wasn't enabling him to lay a foundation for his combinations.

The Leeds man stuck well to his gameplan of keeping half a stride between the pair, and after seven rounds he was a mile ahead on the cards with Munroe unable to do a thing about it.

The 33-year-old had nothing left and his longtime trainer Jason Shinfield had seen enough in the corner, informing referee Richie Davies that he was withdrawing the former European champion.

Munroe was struggling with a cut lip but it looked for all the world as though he had thrown his final punch.

"I love the sport and the training, but there comes a time when the sharpness isn't there," a tearful Munroe told Sky Sports. "My trainer and manager were telling me it's not there and I always said when they tell me it's time to call it a day, it's time.

"At the end of the day I went to Japan, fought the best in the world, I never reached my goal but I love the sport and my fans and a big thank you to them."

Warrington moves to 17-0 with his second stoppage in a row and is looking forward to making his name in the featherweight division.

"I was always a fan of Rendall and I was expecting a dangerous man and I prepared for one," he said.

"I like winning belts so we'll see what happens, maybe the British belt will become vacant and I'd like to have a shot at that."