Daniel Dawson gave former world champion Austin Trout a big fright but ultimately let the big fish off the hook in their super welterweight boxing bout in Temecula, California.
West Australian Dawson 36, as 25-1 outsider with American bookies, dropped former WBA champion Trout twice in the third round with right hand blows.
However, he couldn’t capitalise on the knockdowns, and Trout was able to regain the ascendancy he had in the first two rounds of the bout.
Trout 28, (27-2, 14 KOs) won all of the other nine rounds in the eyes of the three judges, who all scored the fight 97-90 to the American.
Dawson complained he had torn his calf after Trout stepped on his foot in the seventh round.
Trout dropped him with a flurry of blows in the eighth,, but the gritty West Australian survived the last three rounds, despite taking some heavy punishment.
Dawson (404-1, 26 KOs), who is rated 15th by the WBA, eight places lower than Trout, lost for the first tine in eight fights and almost four years.
The non-title bout loss for Dawson completed a disastrous run of five losses in as many weekends for Australian boxers in bouts in the United States.
The run started with Daniel Geale being stopped in three rounds by WBA Middleweight Super champion Gennady Golovkin.
Light heavyweight Blake Caparello was stopped in two rounds by WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and middleweight Jarrod Fletcher was stopped in the fifth by Danny Jacobs in their fight for the vacant WBA regular title.
WBC super middleweight world champion Sakio Bika lost his title last weekend on points to Anthony Dirrell.
Australia’s one remaining universally recognised world champion Sam Soliman, defends his IBF middleweight title against American Jermain Taylor in the US on October 8 (October 9 Australian time).