Scarborough boxer Shaun Ireland’s third professional fight ended in a draw.
The clash with Ryan Hanson at Doncaster Dome was halted by the match referee due to a cut suffered by the Westway man in the first round.
Ireland began the contest well and looked on top of his opponent during the opening exchanges, until a clash of heads left him with a deep laceration to his eyebrow.
With his vision seriously impaired, Ireland was floored by a right hand from Hanson, but the Scarboroguh featherweight battled through the remainder of the round.
The referee was then forced to call an early halt to proceedings on the advice of the ringside doctor at the conclusion of the pulsating opening round, much to the frustration of Ireland, his coaches Al Edwards and George Rhodes Snr and his promoter Stefy Bull.
Ireland insist he’ll learn a great deal from the frustrating draw and will come back stronger than ever in 2016.
He said: “I’ll learn a hell of a lot from this fight going forward and it’s much better that it happened now rather than in an important 12-rounder.
“I knew straight away it was a bad cut and then I felt the blood pouring into my eye.
“I switched off and was trying to wipe the blood away and he caught me with a right hand and put me down.
“To be honest it all happened so quickly and I was straight back up to my feet and wanting to get on with it.”
Ireland told his cornermen Bull, Rhodes and Edwards that he wanted to continue into the second round, but the doctor insisted the fight be stopped, much to the frustration of Ireland at the time.
He added: “I really wanted to get back out there for the second round and put him down and stop him after he’d knocked me down.
“The doctor and everyone in my corner saw the cut though and insisted the fight was stopped and looking back it was the right decision as we wouldn’t have finished the second round with the amount of blood going into my eye.”
The Scarborough featherweight had to have nine stitches insterted into his left eyebrow immediately after the fight, and isn’t expecting to be able to spar until next year.
“I’ve got to have the stitches out on Monday and then it’ll take some time for it to heal, but I’m confident I’ll be back for Stefy’s next show at the end of February.
“I was hoping to go into a six-round fight for it, but with this one being cut short I think I’ll have to do one more and then hopefully step it up a bit.”
One of the more frustrating factors for Ireland was the fact he couldn’t put on a show for his travelling support.
“I was gutted for the fans who had travelled down, there was loads of them there and they certainly made a lot of noise,” added Ireland.
“I really wanted to get out there and get the win for them, but it wasn’t to be.”
Ireland’s promoter Bull had no intention of letting his man carry on after taking one look at his cut.
He said: “It was one of the worst cuts I’ve seen, so there was no way he could’ve carried on.
“Shaun was devastated afterwards in the changing room, saying he’d let everyone down.
“That couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Shaun’s supporters are great, they’re true fans and true fans understand when things like this happen.
“Shaun will be back even stronger in 2016.”