Jack Massey was crowned the new European and Commonwealth cruiserweight champion after earning a split decision over Isaac Chamberlain.

At Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park, on the undercard of the WBO cruiserweight title fight between Richard Riakporhe and the champion Chris Billam-Smith, he recovered from being at risk of a stoppage in the eighth round to fight back and ultimately bully Chamberlain, who in defeat via scores of 115-113, 113-115 and 116-112 sacrificed his Commonwealth title.

It is little secret Chamberlain, 30, had favoured fights against either Viddal Riley or Cheavon Clarke. In the 31-year-old Massey he was instead matched with a considerably more physical domestic opponent, and it regularly showed.

Massey hurt Chamberlain in the first round with a body punch and in the second with a left-right combination. 

Chamberlain, from nearby Brixton, responded positively in the third and fourth – it was in the fourth when he landed a hurtful right hand – but was hurt again by another right hand in the sixth as they increasingly traded and tired, as was demonstrated again in the seventh when Massey succeeded with a right to the body and Chamberlain landed a left to the head.

It was at the conclusion of the eighth when, after landing a combination and briefly looking less drained, Massey was hurt by a left hook and then a right hand, and was forced to retreat and struggled to hold on.

A superior fighter to Chamberlain would have capitalised by stopping him, but when he failed to do so Massey emerged with increased conviction for the ninth, as he proved when landing a hurtful right hand.

With Chamberlain’s left eye increasingly swelling shut, Massey punished him in the 10th with a right hand and a brief flurry, and then further left and right hands.

Successive right hands, on separate occasions either side of a powerful left, hurt Chamberlain again in the 11th, by when he appeared sufficiently far behind that he required a knockout to win.

The announcement of the split decision then did a disservice to Massey’s gradual dominance, but when the scores were confirmed and he therefore also won the vacant European title, he was entirely unconcerned.