By Elliot Foster
Josh Warrington kept hold of his world title with a sensational display.
The Leeds man, who clinched the crown by beating Lee Selby at Elland Road back in May, was in against Carl Frampton.
Warrington, 28, outpointed the former two-weight world champion in front of a near-capacity crowd at Manchester Arena.
The fight, exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office, on Saturday was a serious contender for fight of the year between two fighters who gave everything from the beginning until the end.
The decision was unanimous, with Frampton refusing to commit to a next move following defeat, as Warrington was awarded tallies of 116-113, 116-112 and 116-112.
Warrington, who Frampton said was better than him in every department, now has a major shout for British fighter of the year on the back of the win.
The champion went right after Frampton and they were trading big punches in a war. The punches were flying at a very rapid pace, as Warrington wanted to bully Frampton around the ring.
As Frampton tried to find his range in the second, Warrington really began to batter the challenger with punches from all angles and it almost appeared that Frampton was going to go down.
Warrington was still throwing heavy in the third, looking to overwhelm Frampton. The fourth saw Frampton slow down the pace, as he was boxing and looking to set up big shots. Warrington eventually pressed Frampton against the ropes and let his hands go.
Frampton had some good rounds, but when it was in close, the advantages were with the Yorkshireman, who was beating the Ulsterman to the punch and walking through anything he had to offer.
America now beckons for the fans of the likeable Warrington, with a unification showdown against WBO champion Oscar Valdez already having been discussed between the promoters of the pair Frank Warren and Bob Arum.