Rendall Munroe will have to put his world title ambitions on hold, after the interim WBA contest at Manchester Velodrome against fellow British super-bantamweight Scott Quigg was ruled a technical draw.
At the start of the third round, an accidental clash of heads left Munroe, from Leicester, with a deep cut above his right eye, resulting in referee Howard Foster ending the contest early and calling a draw. The scorecards can only be consulted after four completed rounds.
32-year-old 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.
A rematch is expected to be arranged, while the anticipated showdown between the winner and Commonwealth champion Carl Frampton must now be placed on the back burner.