Ex-pat Whanganui boxer Robert Berridge's propensity to get cut came back to haunt him after a premature points decision loss to undefeated Canadian Ryan Ford in Singapore on early Sunday morning, NZ time.
Challenging the locally-based Ford for his lightly regarded Universal Boxing Organization world light-heavyweight title, Berridge did well in the first two rounds of the main event at the Resorts World Sentosa.
However, he was starting to slow down while Ford stayed on the move as the fight wore on, getting through with a couple of good hooks, but rarely using the jab to set up opportunities.
An accidental head clash in the sixth round reopened Berridge's scar tissue above his right eye, a bad wound that previously bled heavily in his stoppage defeat to WBA interim light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol in February.
However, Berridge fought with more urgency in the seventh as Ford switched stances but did not land much of significance by the bell, as Berridge's blood continued to flow.
The ringside doctor ruled Berridge could not continue with the cut that deep before the start of the eighth round, which under the rules meant the result went to the judges scorecards as the fight had progressed past the fourth round.
Ford was then quickly announced as the technical points winner, although no actual scores were read out, with the Berridge camp leaving the ring immediately afterwards.
"I was winning every round of the fight, I was picking my punches," Ford said.
"Robert Berridge is a real tough competitor, but every one of those fights, he gets cut, so I can't complain.
"Can't take it away from my win...I got the job done."
The event's promotors Ringstar Boxing later announced on their Facebook page that the three judges were scoring the bout 67-66 69-64 and 68-65 in favour of Ford (12-0) by the end of the seventh round.
Berridge, now 29-7-1, has lost two fights in a row for world belts in overseas bouts.