Josh Warrington’s highly-anticipated rematch against Mauricio Lara ended in a technical draw after just two rounds at Headingley Stadium.
The sell-out home crowd built the atmosphere to fever pitch with Warrington’s ring walk going down as a special moment.
But the punters were left stunned when the fight was called off after Lara suffered a nasty cut to the eye from an accidental clash of heads with Warrington.
The second round was completed after a short delay in which the bout was temporarily stopped as the referee spoke to Lara.
But the ringside doctor said Lara could not continue with the wound continuing to bleed and Michael Buffer announced that the fight had been called off.
It ended in a technical draw because the required number of four rounds were not completed.
Warrington told DAZN afterwards: “All these people wanted to see me get redemption tonight.
“I thought I opened him up with a punch in the first round, but a clash of styles, my head hit him.
“I’m absolutely gutted.”
While Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn added: “I don’t think the cut was that bad at first, I actually thought Lara was looking for a way out.
“That’s never happened to me before, I’m gutted for Josh. (Josh said) that I can’t believe he beat me (in the first fight). I thought he looked really fresh, I still believe he would have won (the fight).
“There are other fights for Josh Warrington. Lara will be out for six months, I’d like to see Josh back in the ring.”