Josh Warrington retained his IBF featherweight title with a split decision win over Kid Galahad after a tense and scrappy clash in Leeds.
Warrington claimed a points victory at the end of 12 close and attritional rounds at the First Direct Arena, retaining his nine-stone belt for the second time.
Galahad threatened a major upset with spoiling tactics which saw him given two warnings for holding by referee Phil Edwards.
Warrington tried without success to draw Galahad into a toe-to-toe contest but took the victory on two of the judges scorecards, extending his unbeaten record to 29 bouts and inflicting the first defeat of Galahad’s professional career.
There was palpable animosity between the fighters in the build-up to the contest and Galahad refused Warrington’s offer of a glove before the opening bell.
The Sheffield boxer’s tactics were evident from the start, wrapping Warrington up at every opportunity and landing counter punches with quick footwork as Warrington struggled to find his rhythm.
Neither boxer was seriously rocked at any stage and Warrington was unable to unleash the barrages which overwhelmed Lee Selby and Carl Frampton so spectacularly last year.
Galahad was warned for spoiling in rounds six and nine but battled through to the bell to leave a Warrington victory in grave doubt.
One judge, Howard Foster, scored the bout 115-114 in Galahad’s favour but Warrington received the backing of the other two cards by margins of 116-113 and 116-113.