Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand won a majority decision over Nicaraguan champion Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez in a bloody, 12-round slugfest to win the World Boxing Council super flyweight title on Saturday.
It was non-stop action at Madison Square Garden with both boxers punching relentlessly, and the previously unbeaten Gonzalez covered in blood from a clash of heads that gave him a deep gash near his right eyebrow in the third round.
Two judges scored it 114-112 for Srisaket, while the other judged it 113-113.
Srisaket improved to 42-4-1, while Gonzalez dropped to 46-1 in the co-featured bout on the card ahead of the middleweight championship match between Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs.
Srisaket set the tone early, knocking Gonzalez down with a short, powerful right to the body in the first round, the first time since 2006 that the Nicaraguan had hit the canvas.
An accidental butt of heads in the third round opened a deep gash on Gonzalez, who fought with heightened urgency from then on as blood covered the right side of his face.
The Thai left-hander kept working on the area of the cut, and the corner had trouble stemming the flow of blood.
Gonzalez had Srisaket in trouble in sixth when he followed up a thudding left to the body with a left to the jaw. Trapped in the corner, the challenger knocked heads again and was deducted a point for the head butt.
Chocolatito fought on gamely despite the blood that also stained his chest as the two battled fiercely to the end.
Earlier on the undercard, Carlos Cuadras, who once owned WBC crown improved to 36-1-1 mark with a 10-round unanimous decision over gritty fellow Mexican David Carmona, who slipped to 20-4-5.
Undefeated Ryan Martin improved to 18-0 by stopping fellow American Bryant Cruz (17-2) at 45 seconds of the eighth round in a 10-round lightweight clash.
Irishman Andy Lee (35-3-1) won a unanimous points decision over American KeAndrae Leatherwood (19-4-1) in an eight-round middleweight bout.