Chris Eubank Jr produced a stirring display to defeat James DeGale via unanimous decision and claim the vacant IBO super-middleweight title at the O2 Arena on Saturday. (photos by Lawrence Lustig, Showtime).
There was little love lost between the British pair, who shared a frosty embrace after Eubank's hand had been raised by referee Michael Alexander in London.
The three judges scored the fight 114-112, 115-112, 117-109 in Eubank's favour and it was hard to argue with that assessment at the end of a contest in which former Olympic middleweight gold medallist DeGale failed to leave his stamp.
At the final bell, DeGale raised his arm more in hope than expectation and the 33-year-old, whose record falls to 25-3-1, must know he is nearing the end of a career that twice saw him crowned IBF super-middleweight king.
"I'm going to go back, talk to my team and talk to my family," DeGale told ITV Box Office afterwards.
"I've been to the heights of boxing, I've won an Olympic gold medal, won the world title twice, made history and I've boxed the best around the world, I've left my mark in boxing."
With victory, Eubank moves to 28-2 and it was he who set the tone for the fight as early as round two, wobbling DeGale with a left hook that forced a mandatory eight-count.