Robin Reid claimed the IBO super middleweight belt and got his career back on track by outpointing champion Brian Magee in Belfast.
Reid recovered from a bad start to put Magee on the canvas four times.
Magee made a positive start at the King's Hall but the fight turned in the fourth round when a big Reid right put the Irishman on the canvas.
Reid then put Magee down twice in the eighth and while the Irishman fought back late on, it was already too late.
Magee was harshly docked a point in the opening round for a supposedly low blow which looked a legitimate shot.
Indeed, Reid spent much of the opening rounds complaining to the referee about Magee's work inside and use of the head.
The Englishman struggled for his timing over the early rounds while in contrast, Magee was landing all the scoring punches.
However out of the blue, Reid put Magee on the canvas late in the fourth round with a big left which caught the Irishman on the forehead.
Magee was once again dumped on the canvas by a sharp left hand from Reid in the fifth as the action hotted up after the Englishman had been cut on
the forehead following a clash of heads.
The knockdowns appeared to drain Magee's confidence although Reid's overall workrate continued to be scrappy in the sixth round.
By the eighth, Reid seemed to have Magee's measure and a huge right hand put the Irishman on the canvas again midway through the round.
Magee was put on the floor again late in the round but Reid didn't press home the glorious chance to finish off the contest.
To his credit, Magee fought back in the next four rounds as Reid appeared to feel that he had already done enough.
All three judges gave Reid the verdict with the margins 115-111, 113-112 and 114-111.
Reid rejected suggestions that he had been fortunate to get the verdict despite the knockdowns.
"I totally deserved it. I've had so many decisions go against me in my career and I've worked really hard for this," said Reid.
"When I got cut in the fifth, I thought:'Great...just my luck'. But I boxed out of my skin and he couldn't take my power in the end."
Reid claimed that Magee had been "dirty" with his head.
"I didn't expect that from him and I thought he was letting himself down.
"In the last couple of rounds, I knew I was in control of the fight and the way he was dangerous with his head, I didn't want to take unnecessary
Former champion Magee felt he had edged the contest despite Reid's superior power.
"I thought I'd done enough to win the fight," said the Irishman.
"He caught me well for a couple of the knockdowns but I got up and got back into the contest."
Magee added that he was determined to get back in the ring quickly and said that he would be keen for a rematch against Reid.
Reid hinted that a rematch could happen "if the money is right".
Story from BBC SPORT:
Published: 2004/06/26 21:46:31 GMT
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