Ted Cheeseman had to settle for a draw against Kieron Conway on Saturday night as he retained his British title at York Hall.
'The Big Cheese' fell short when moving up to challenge for European honours last time out, and seemed to have done enough to successfully defend his Lonsdale belt on his ring return, but scores of 116-113 (Conway), 115-114 (Cheeseman) and 114-114 saw him draw for the first time in the professional ranks.
Having set a ferocious pace throughout, Cheeseman, who will likely battle Scott Fitzgerald next, keeps hold of his title while Conway takes his seat in a bustling, red-hot, 154lb domestic scene.
Intent on scoring an impressive victory, Cheeseman made an aggressive start, charging forward early on to dig in body shots on the inside.
The Northampton challenger, certainly not overwhelmed, quickly showcased his boxing ability with some accurate counter work in the next, but it failed to halt the persistent onslaught coming his way, more hooks rocking him upstairs.
'The Big Cheese' seemed on course to a routine and powerful first defence of the Lonsdale belt, but a composed 'Too Class' Conway, despite soaking up plenty of heavy shots, remained sharp on the inside, able to fire back his own artillery, growing into the fight.
The faces of both super-welterweights started to mark up as an action-packed fourth began, things swinging back-and-forth, neither man able to slow a still electrifying tempo, before Conway silenced the partisan London crowd in the next three minutes, boxing beautifully on the back-foot.
There was no letting up in the mid-rounds, Cheeseman still refusing to take a step back, continuing to target the midriff area, while Conway showed the better technical prowess, cleverly scoring his own punches downstairs with uppercuts also regularly catching the onrushing champion.
With the fight balanced on a knife-edge, the Bermondsey man started to take control from the eighth, his advanced ring experience taking effect, hooks wheeling in up-and-down from all angles, a huge uppercut snapping back the head of his Northampton foe.
The relentless high work-rate, hooks scoring on the inside, seemed to see 'The Big Cheese' pull away late on, a tiring Conway defiantly hanging in there, but 'Too Class' sent a timely reminder of his skill to the judges in the final three minutes, a class uppercut ripping home, and it proved crucial.