Clinton Woods displayed immense bravery to stun Glen Johnson and retain his IBF light heavyweight title after a split decision in Bolton.
Woods fought back magnificently after a torrid ninth round
Woods' hopes looked to be over in round nine when Johnson, who had appeared to be tiring, suddenly produced a stunning flurry of punches.
Woods, 34, was clearly rocked but he somehow recovered to get the better of the last three rounds.
And the judges scored a pulsating fight in Woods' favour.
It was a particularly sweet victory for Woods, who failed to beat the 37-year-old Jamaican in two previous attempts.
"Since winning the world title and fulfilling my dream, the only thing left that I wanted was beating Johnson and I did it," he said afterwards.
I truly believe I won the fight
"He hit me with some big shots in the ninth round. He is so awkward to fight against. He's been a great champion.
"I'm just happy with the win."
Johnson was magnanimous in defeat, although he was convinced he had won the fight.
"I truly believe I won the fight," he said. "There were some close rounds in there. Clinton won some rounds but for the most part they were close rounds."
Johnson made his trademark fast start in a packed Bolton Arena, dominating the first round, but Woods fought back magnificently.
The 34-year-old, with Ricky Hatton in his corner, began to hurt Johnson with his uppercut and the crowd sensed glory for the Sheffield man.
Inevitably, neither fighter could maintain the brutal pace of the opening rounds, but it looked to be Johnson who was suffering more until an explosive ninth round.
However, after Woods survived it, it became apparent that the older man had given all he had in that assault.
Judge Mickey Vann scored the contest 115-113 in favour of Johnson but American Richard Bays (115-112) and Roberto Ramirez (116-112) favoured Woods.
Frenchman Souleymane M'baye claimed the vacant WBA light-welterweight title with a fourth-round stoppage of Argentine Raul Balbi in Bolton.
M'baye made no mistake in his second challenge for the title previously held by Ricky Hatton.
The 31-year-old weathered a tricky opening round which left him with a wound near his right eye.
But he dumped Balbi with a sharp right hand early in the fourth round and the Argentine never recovered.