Munroe suffered the second defeat of his 23-fight career
Rendall Munroe was beaten on points by Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka as the Leicester man's WBC super-bantamweight challenge ended in failure.
Munroe, 30, suffered only his second defeat, losing a unanimous decision with all three of the judges in Japan scoring the fight 119-109.
Nishioka, 34, rocked Munroe in the fifth, seventh and 10th as he proved too classy for the British fighter.
For the champion it was his 37th win from 44 fights with four losses
Nishioka quickly settled into his rhythm with trademark snappy combinations but Munroe's defence was solid and he too made a confident start.
The champion was the busier fighter in the second and third as he landed the cleaner punches, with his jab proving a dangerous weapon, while also proving an evasive target as Munroe was made to miss far too often.
But Munroe came back into the fight in the fourth as he upped his work rate, catching his opponent with an accurate left hook midway through the round.
Nishioka rocked Munroe in the fifth with a solid left over the top which seemed to wobble the challenger, who held on until the end of the round after an intense onslaught.
Munroe was troubled in the sixth with Nishioka's right jab, left hook combination finding the target far too often, while the champion also started to work the body of the Leicester fighter.
It was a body shot which again rocked Munroe in the seventh but a cut above the right eye of Nishioka gave the challenger hope just before the bell.
By the time the eighth came around Munroe was well behind on points and although he tried to assert himself on the fight Nishioka's movement was too cute, as he continued to break the spirit of the Leicester man with accurate body shots, while also opening up a cut below his right eye.
The ninth was a good round for Munroe as Nishioka looked as if he was beginning to tire, but the Japanese fighter proved as effective off the back foot, hurting his opponent with another body shot in the 10th, as he looked to close out the fight.
Munroe's defence was weak by the latter stages of the fight as Nishioka's jab continued to break his guard but despite some more desperate moments for the Briton, he held on until the final bell.