BIRKENHEAD professional boxer Sean "Masher" Dodd lost his challenge for the Central Area Super-Featherweight title in heartbreaking circumstances at the Doncaster Dome.

Ahead on the points on the referee's scorecard after six rounds of the 10 round contest, he was floored by a tremendous right hand from opponent Andy Townend in the seventh round and stopped by the referee after regaining his feet.

This was an inspiring challenge by Dodd in his first championship contest.

He put everything into the first six rounds of the contest and his tactics of putting controlled pressure on his talented opponent were working well.

Dodd constantly forced Townend back to the ropes and unloaded quality punches only for the former amateur star from Barnsley to fire back at every opportunity. The fight was filled with quality and drama and the fitness of both boxers was incredible.

In the seventh round a flurry of hard punches from Townend stunned Dodd.

Instead of holding and allowing his senses to return Dodd elected to trade punches which was probably the only mistake he made in the whole fight.

Damian Jones, ‘Masher’s manager, said: “Townend is an excellent fighter and the final right hand punch was thrown with precision and such hard force that it knocked Dodd back across the ring and down against the ropes.

“Although he regained his feet the referee rightly stopped the contest. Both myself and Sean's trainers totally agreed with the referees decision to stop the fight and had no complaints.

“Despite not returning to Birkenhead with the title, and obviously being heartbroken, Masher emerged from the fight with a lot of credit - and gained invaluable experience.

“He now knows that he deserves to fight at title level and that he can complete a 10 week training camp for championship fights. He will be back!”