James DeGale climbed off the canvas in the final round to claim a majority draw against Badou Jack in their world super-middleweight unification title fight at the Barclays Center in New York.
IBF champion DeGale knocked down Jack in the opening round but the WBC titlist grew into the bout and finished the stronger of the two, flooring the Londoner, who got to his feet to hear the final bell.
The final knockdown proved decisive as DeGale was given the nod 114-112 on one of the judges' cards but the other two scored the contest 113-113, with both fighters keeping their titles after a thrilling night in Brooklyn.
DeGale's record now stands at 23 wins, one draw and one defeat from his 25 professional contests, and he revealed afterwards that the bout had taken its toll.
The 30-year-old told Sky Sports 1:
James DeGale came through his first examination as IBF super-middleweight champion with a thrilling unanimous decision victory over Lucian Bute in Quebec.
The 29-year-old DeGale won the title by beating Andre Dirrell on points in May and put the belt on the line against Bute, who was stopped by Carl Froch in 2012.
The bout at the Centre Videotron got off to a blistering start and the pace barely relented as both fighters enjoyed success with quick combinations.
The home crowd were getting right behind Romanian-born Canadian Bute, who left DeGale with a cut above his left eye after an accidental head clash.
DeGale was forced back by his opponent as the match wore on but his superior footwork and speed were enough to convince the judges to score the fight 116-112, 117-111, 117-111 in the Briton's favour.
It was a great night for British boxing asTyson Fury became the new heavyweight champion of the world after beating Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf's ESPRIT Arena.
James DeGale is ready to create his own slice of history this weekend ahead of his bout with Andre Dirrell for the vacant IBF super-middleweight crown in Boston.
The Londoner is hoping to become the first British boxer to win an Olympic gold medal and a world title on Saturday evening.
Standing in his way is the highly-regarded Dirrell, whose only defeat in a 25-bout professional career came in a controversial points loss to DeGale's compatriot Carl Froch six years ago.
DeGale is not not taking the threat of Dirrell lightly, but the 29-year-old is convinced he will emerge with his hand raised.
Carl Froch admits he would find it difficult to "get out of bed" and train for a fight against James DeGale.
The 37 year-old super-middleweight champion is chasing a Las Vegas meeting with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. before retiring from boxing.
Despite fighting the likes of Andre Ward, Mikkel Kessler and Lucian Bute in recent years, Froch has never been offered a bout in Las Vegas.
"I'm just not motivated to fight another British kid in Britain," Froch told BBC Radio Nottingham, when asked about mandatory challenger DeGale.
"If I was told tomorrow by my promoter that I would be fighting DeGale in the early part of next year I don't think that it'd get me out of bed in the morning to go running."