Lee Purdy failed in his bid for the European welterweight title in London as veteran Italian Leonard Bundu retained the belt with a 12th-round stoppage.
The 26-year-old Colchester fighter was taking on an undefeated opponent, with Purdy having relinquished his own perfect record last time out when losing in May to Devon Alexander in Atlantic City.
And after taking a barrage of heavy shots in the final minute of the fight, Purdy was knocked to the canvas and was surely heading the same way again before the referee halted the fight.
By the end of the second round Purdy had suffered a nasty cut beneath his left eye. He edged the third and it seemed Sierra Leone-born Bundu, 39, was beginning to tire as the hectic early pace subsided.
Despite a full-hearted performance from Purdy, Bundu's know-how proved telling and he regained control of the contest.
Purdy could not connect with the kind of heavy shot that might have knocked Bundu from his feet, and just as a points verdict seemed inevitable the home hope found it was his opponent who had saved the best for last.