Billy Dib will ponder his boxing future after he was stopped in three rounds by Japan's WBC super featherweight champion Takashi Miura in Tokyo on Friday night.
The Sydneysider started the fight well enough, and his brother and manager Emaid said Dib was ahead on the judges scorecards after two rounds.
A crushing left to the head dropped the challenger just over a minute into the third round and though Dib just beat the count, the referee stopped the bout to spare the stunned challenger further punishment.
The loss was 29 year-old former IBF featherweight champion Dib's third in his past seven fights and second by stoppage.
It will inevitably trigger talk about what, if anything, he has left to fight for in a fine professional career that he started as a teenager back in 2004.
Prior to the fight in Tokyo, Dib said he thought it would probably be his last shot at a world title.
"Billy has had such a long career, he started so early," Emaid Dib told AAP.
"As a team we'll definitely look at things and see where we go from here."
He said his brother had gone into the fight with a broken left hand and fractured ribs suffered during his Australian training camp and he had been nursing the injuries.
"We're not making any excuse whatsoever, but obviously we had to keep it secret," Emaid Dib said
Asked whether he had considered pulling his brother out of the fight he said "Absolutely. I was very concerned, but Billy nursed it.
"He did the best that he could, but he was just adamant on fighting.
"I don't want in any way to make any excuses. In the end those things had nothing to do with the result."
Dib's record dropped to 39-4, with 23 KOs.
His camp felt they had the right game plan to counter hard-hitting southpaw Miura, but lamented a critical mistake, as the champion backed Dib onto the ropes.
"We said to Billy `you can't be a sitting duck, you've got to constantly be moving, don't give this guy a target and keep the chin down'" Emaid Dib said.
"The chin was up and he was stationary, so he was there to be hit and (Miura) really hit him well."
He praised Miura for being patient in a bout which represented a fourth successful title defence for the champion.
"He (Billy Dib) was keeping his distance but I gradually got to work inside," Miura told reporters.
"I got the job done with that one left hand, which was the reward for my patience," added Miura, who improved his record to 29-2-2, with 22 KOs.