Rabchenko too good for Rhodes
Ryan Rhodes' hopes of another world title shot were dealt a major blow by Sergey Rabchenko at Manchester Velodrome.
Sheffield veteran Rhodes had viewed the European light-middleweight title bout as a stepping stone back to the top, but he was stopped by the strong Belarusian towards the end of the seventh round.
Rabchencko, 26, extended his unbeaten record to 21 fights when he captured the vacant title by sending Rhodes to his knees with a powerful left hook to his chest.
Rhodes was hit with some solid punches in the opening round, but he had Rabchenko in trouble in the third when he landed a right-hand flush on his chin.
However, the man from Minsk regrouped and gradually asserted his authority on the fight as he stood his ground and countered Rhodes' attacks in good style before finishing it in the seventh.
"If you get caught in the right place with a body shot then it's over and he caught me with a brilliant body shot," said Rhodes.
"I tried getting up at eight and the referee waved it over. I didn't realise you had to be up at eight under European rules.
"I felt I was ahead in the fight and I felt comfortable in there. I have been told I was 6-1 up on the scorecards but it is one of those things."
Rhodes also insisted he has no plans to retire, adding: "I feel like I have still got a lot to give in the game. I will sit down and see where we go from here but this isn't the end of Ryan Rhodes."
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