Scott Fitzgerald became the new British super-welterweight champion after staging a late assault to seal a points win over Ted Cheeseman in Newcastle.
The unbeaten 27-year-old was forced to dig deep after being frustrated by Cheeseman’s back-foot boxing, but Fitzgerald dragged him into a punishing battle to earn a unanimous decision with scores of 116-113, 116-113 and 115-113.
Taking the centre of the ring, Fitzgerald pushed out stiff jabs from the opening bell as Cheeseman circled the ring, answering with a few left hands of his own.
Cheeseman was displaying clever lateral movement, landing a crisp combination in the second, and the south Londoner enjoyed more success with his jab in the third.
Fitzgerald was struggling to pin down Cheeseman, who picked him off in the fourth, but the Preston man responded with precise punches from range in the fifth.
Back came Cheeseman in the sixth, sending a jolting uppercut through his opponent’s guard, and the increasingly frustrated Fitzgerald had to withstand a straight right hand in the seventh.