Ricky Burns got back to winning ways on his light-welterweight debut but was thoroughly unconvincing in a points decision victory over the lightly regarded Alexandre Lepelley at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
Burns had lost his last two fights and decided a move up to the 140lbs division would breathe fresh life into his career, but the Scot looked a pale shadow of the fighter that had won world titles in two weight classes.
He dropped his opponent in the opening round but struggled to impose himself after a decent start and although he deserved his victory, a 79-71 scoreline will do little to quieten the doubters who believe the Coatbridge fighter's best days are behind him, despite recording his 37th win from 42 fights.
The 31-year-old, who lost his WBO lightweight title to Terence Crawford before suffering a surprise points decision defeat to Dejan Zlaticanin last time out, was fighting outside of Scotland for the first time since November 2011.
Burns says he is now likely to return to lightweight to continue his career after a tough time, but it was far from a promising showing from him as he could only shine in spells of the fight.
“Some of the rounds I think I boxed alright,” said Burns. “He was very tough and he could take a good shot, at the end of the fourth round my hands were starting to get sore. I moved up to light-welterweight but I've got a few big decisions to make over the next couple of weeks about that but I'm just glad to get back with a win.”