It was heartbreak again for St Helens' Martin Murray as his fourth world title attempt ended in defeat once more against Arthur Abraham in Germany.
The defending WBO super-middleweight champion won a split points decision 115-112, 112-115, 116-111 to retain his belt.
Murray had little success in the opening rounds in Hanover and was caught by a straight, powerful right hand in the third.
It was not until the sixth that Murray landed something meaningful, forcing his opponent back on to the ropes with a right hand, but Abraham responded with a counter to mark the Briton's face.
The champion twice caught Murray in the seventh but he landed the best punch of the fight in the next round, catching Abraham with a big right glove.
Murray was deducted a point, after a couple of warnings, in the 11th for using the shoulder, which all-but ended the 33-year-old's hopes.
The next couple of weeks could be the biggest that North West boxing has ever seen.
Next week Tyson Fury bids to become heavyweight champion of the world. But, before that, two more of our boxers can become world champions.
Manchester's Anthony Crolla will be roared on by a home crowd in his rematch with Colombian Darleys Perez while St Helens hero Martin Murray is in Hannover to face Arthur Abraham.
Chris Hall reports.
Martin Murray will continue his quest to claim a world title the hard way when he faces Germany's Arthur Abraham in Hannover next month.Read the full story ›
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St Helens middleweight Martin Murray on the wrong side of a unanimous points decision in Buenos Aires.Read the full story ›
Bolton's Amir Khan is in the ring in Sheffield tonight. He's fighting Mexican Julio Diaz in the hope of putting himself back in world title contention.
But the biggest bout of the night is seven thousand miles away in Argentina where St Helens hero Martin Murray takes on Sergio Martinez for the WBC World Middleweight title.
Martin Murray will go down in history if he defeats Sergio Martinez, says fellow Briton Ricky Hatton.Read the full story ›
St Helens boxing hero Martin Murray speaks ahead of his fight with Jorge Navarro for the interim WBA middleweight title. The contest is on Ricky Hatton's undercard at Manchester Arena.
St Helens boxer Martin Murray is hopeful it'll be announced in the next few weeks that he's to be given another another shot at a world title fight. Before that the highly rated middleweight fighter faces French champion Karim Achour at the Manchester Velodrome.