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Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Saturday, 5 April 2008 10:13 UK

Romanov ends Thaxton's title bid

Jon Thaxton
Thaxton suffered suffer a serious cut which forced him to retire

Jon Thaxton's hopes of a domestic showdown with Amir Khan look to be over after he lost his European title clash against Yuri Romanov on Friday.

The 33-year-old was withdrawn by his corner with a deep cut over his right eye after the fifth round at York Hall.

But Romanov's manager Philippe Fondu played down a clash between the Belarus fighter and Khan, adding: "We want to get Yuri a world title.

"Khan had his opportunity but he took the Martin Kristjansen fight instead."

Khan faces Denmark's Kristjansen at Bolton Arena on Saturday in a fight that has been billed as a WBO title eliminator.

But Thaxton expects the Olympic silver medallist to give Romanov a wide berth after his emphatic defeat by the European lightweight champion.

"I fought the best lightweight in Europe - he's not ranked number two in the world by the WBA for nothing," he said.

"After watching that, I definitely expect Khan to avoid Romanov."

The defeat was veteran Thaxton's eighth in his 41-fight career but the Norwich fighter insisted afterwards he had no complaints with his corner's decision to withdraw him from the bout.

"I've got every trust and belief in my team - they're in charge, and if it's the right decision then it is the right one," he said.

"I never think I'm going to lose until the final decision.

"I was just getting into it, and it usually takes a few rounds. He was coming forward - but how long would he have kept coming?

"I trained very hard and I'm super upset. Of course I'll be back."

Trainer Dominic Ingle had no doubt that his man's wound was too severe for him to continue.

"I've seen some tough cuts in my time, but that's down to the bone. He can't go on with that kind of cut," he said.

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