Lewis Taylor's assault on the Commonwealth middleweight title ended in disappointment tonight.
After 12 gruelling rounds, he was outpointed by Devon-born Tommy Langford, on the undercard of Terry Flanagan v Derry Mathews, at the Echo Arena, Liverpool.
Taylor defended brilliantly, and only looked hurt once, when he was caught by a body shot in the ninth round.
In the final two rounds, the Dronfield man took the fight to his opponent, but couldn't impose himself the way he'd wanted.
Taylor (previously W 18 L1 D1) whose last fight saw him successfully defend his English middleweight title aganist Sheffield's Jez Wilson, last November, accepted defeat with grace at the end.
He was applauded by promoter Frank Warren for his tenacious appetite.
*Flanagan beat Mathews by unanimous decision to retain his WBO world lightweight title.
The Mancunian repeated his win over Mathews in the 2012 Prizefighter tournament - but, for a bout billed as two fighters with knockout potential, it took the judges to separate them after a tetchy encounter.
Flanagan had the better of the early rounds but was given multiple warnings for pushing and use of the elbow.
The challenger enjoyed a much stronger fifth round, landing a couple of good shots, and his improved showing delighted a raucous home crowd.
He continued his momentum in the next but the effort began to tell on him and Flanagan regained the initiative in round seven - though he was eventually docked a point in the next for use of the forearm.
He was spoken to again in round nine but upped the ante in terms of legitimate hits and went into the final round seemingly in control of the scorecards and was able to keep his opponent quiet to see out the fight.
Two judges scored the fight 117-110 in Flanagan's favour, with the third awarding him a narrower 115-112 verdict.
He could now look to line up a unification fight against Anthony Crolla, should his fellow Mancunian succeed in his first defence against Venezuela's Ismael Barroso.
The undercard saw Paul Butler stop Sebastian Sanchez to win the WBO international super flyweight title and Tommy Langford beat Lewis Taylor to add the Commonwealth middleweight title to his WBO Intercontinental belt.