By Adrian Warren
A calf injury stymied Australian Daniel Dawson's attempt to pull off a massive upset after he gave former world champion Austin Trout a big fright.
Western Australian Dawson dropped former WBA champion Trout twice in the third round of their 10-round non-title super welterweight bout in Temecula, California on Friday.
However, he couldn't capitalise on the knockdowns and big fish Trout ultimately managed to get off the hook.
Dawson became the fifth Australian boxer to lose a big fight in the United States in as many weekends.
American Trout, 28, who had lost his two previous fights, regained the ascendancy he had in the first two rounds of the bout.
Trout (27-2, 14 KOs) won the other nine rounds in the eyes of the three judges, who all scored the fight 97-90 to the American.
He dropped Dawson with a flurry of blows in the eighth, but the gritty Australian survived the last three rounds, despite taking some heavy punishment.
The chances of Dawson, who was rated a 25-1 underdog with the bookies, springing a massive upset diminished after his mobility was compromised when he suffered a torn calf in the second half of the bout.
"My game plan was, the first few rounds, to get into range and then let the shots go and that's what we did," Dawson told AAP via phone.
"But, then I went to step back on my right leg and tore the calf and heard it pop.
"It was just really, really hard to try and stand or set any punches on it after that.
"I could hardly stand. I probably shouldn't have fought, but I've got heart.
"If you take the injury to the leg out of it, I showed I can be up at that level.
"I think I shocked a lot of people and showed them what Australians can do."
Dawson (40-4-1, 26 KOs), who is rated 15th by the WBA, eight places lower than Trout, lost for the first tine in eight fights in almost four years.
The loss for Dawson completed a disastrous run for Australian boxers in recent bouts in the US.
The run started in late July 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.
The step up in class proved too much for some of the Australian fighters, with the five foreign boxers boasting an amazing combined record of 137-3-2 (111 KOs).
Australia's one remaining universally recognised world champion Sam Soliman defends his IBF middleweight title against American Jermain Taylor in the US on October 9 (AEST).
AUSTRALIAN BOXING'S TALE OF WOE IN THE US (All dates US time, Overseas boxers first):
* 26/7 - Middleweight - Gennady Golovkin TKO (3rd round) Daniel Geale, New York
* 2/8 - Light heavyweight - Sergey Kovalev TKO (2) Blake Caparello, Atlantic City
* 9/8 - Middleweight - Danny Jacobs TKO (5) Jarrod Fletcher, New York
* 16/8 - Super middleweight - Anthony Dirrell UD (12) Sakio Bika, Carson
* 22/8 - Super welterweight - Austin Trout UD (10) Daniel Dawson, Temecula.Tags: Austin Trout