Brad Foster held on to the British and Commonwealth junior featherweight titles after a brutal bout with Lucien Reid ended in a majority points draw on Saturday.
Two judges scored it 114-114, while the third saw it 116-112 to Reid, who finished the stronger in front of his home fans at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, in east London.
Reid looked fresher in the later rounds, but it was not enough to convince the judges, and Foster retained the titles. A rematch seems likely.
Foster (11-0-2, 4 KOs), 21, from Lichfield, won the British crown by outpointing Josh Wale in March, and then stopped Ashley Lane in a first defense two months later. After this close and competitive fight, he deserves a rest, and both boxers sustained cuts, so a sequel is likely to be next year if it happens.
Foster had to contend with a bad cut opening up by his left eye in the second round, caused by an accidental clash of heads. The former kickboxer's corner did a great job on stemming the flow of blood to ensure it did not bother him.
Reid (8-0-2, 4 KOs), 25, from West Ham in east London, was the more educated boxer, but Foster was a quick mover around the ring and always dangerous with the left hook.
The rounds were close and Reid finished the fifth round strong, catching Foster with a flurry of punches. Reid also finished the fifth cut by his left eye after an accidental clash of heads, but it did not affect his work and in the eighth he landed a thudding right hand followed by a right uppercut.
But Foster rallied in the ninth and did some great work on the inside at close range, and landed a pair of hooks flush. Reid took it well, and resisted being drawn into a brawl.
Reid had never been 12 rounds before but the distance was no problem for him and he finished the fight with two impressive rounds. Reid nailed Foster with two right hands in the last round, but it was not enough to earn him the decision.
Also on the ESPN+ bill, Sunny Edwards highlighted his potential to emulate the success of his elder brother, WBC world flyweight champion Charlie, with a unanimous, 10-round points win over Rosendo Hugo Guarneros.
Edwards (13-0, 4 KOs), 23 and three years younger than Charlie, had moved down a division for this fight and made an impressive flyweight debut, as he ran out a 99-91, 99-91 and 100-90 winner.
Guarneros (16-3-2, 8 KOs), from Mexico City, 28, had never fought outside of his native Mexico and had won only one of his previous three fights.
It all suggested Edwards would have it his own way and so it proved, as the Londoner seized control in the first round by landing punches from various angles.
Edwards was razor sharp in the second, switching between stances, before staggering Guarneros with a left in the third.
It was one-way traffic throughout, as Sunny showed he has arguably a better skill set than his sibling Charlie.
In the seventh, as Guarneros looked for the big shot, Edwards boxed expertly behind a southpaw jab.
"In the seventh round I threw my best shot of the fight," Edwards said, and added he eased off after that.
Edwards also landed a sweet uppercut in the 10th, and the outcome was a formality.