Injury halts Gavin Rees-Derry Mathews bout

Derry Matthews is examined by medical staff
Derry Mathews is examined by medical staff

Gavin Rees has retained his European lightweight title after his fight against Derry Mathews was called a technical draw.

Mathews suffered a bloodied nose after an accidental clash of heads which led to the premature fourth-round ending.

Referee John Keane took a close look at the injury as blood cascaded into Mathews' mouth.

And the fight in Newport was waved off after the ringside doctor examined the injury.

With fewer than four rounds being completed the fight did not go to the judges' scorecards, so Rees kept his belt via technical draw.

"It was just an accidental clash of heads," said Liverpudlian Mathews.

"I'm absolutely devastated. I put everything into this fight. So has Gavin. Maybe he can give me a rematch and we can get it back on. I hope so."

Mathews had been acquitting himself well before he was forced to retire and both men landed hard right hands in the second round

An element of spite crept into the bout in the fourth as the pair traded on the break but the action was largely clean and always competitive before the contest was brought to a premature end.