Joe Fitzpatrick took a split decision win over Holy Trinity's Sean McComb at a raucous Dockers Club on Friday night in the box-off for the lightweight place on the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games team.
The Immaculata man was certainly on the front foot for the majority, but he was coming up against a slick counter puncher in McComb and as expected, a fantastic contest ensued.
It was Fitzpatrick on the offensive for the most part with McComb circling the ring and trying to counter and avoid the big left hand. This continued to be the theme, with McComb landing some crisp counters while Fitzpatrick was throwing the heavier looking shots.
It appeared McComb had done enough at the end, but Fitzpatrick's pressure boxing and workrate caught the eye as he took a split decision win.
"That was one of the hardest fights I have ever fought in my life," said Fitzpatrick after. "Sean is a brilliant boxer but that's my second time beating him. I have been flat-out training so I want to thank all my coaches – 'Nugget' (Gerry Nugent), Martin Lindsay, 'Fredo' Meli – they made me train the hardest I have in my life."
Having defeated McComb in the 2013 Ulster Seniors final and won his third straight Ulster Senior title earlier this year, the Immaculata camp felt a box-off wasn't required, but Fitzpatrick is hoping this win ends the argument as to which lightweight will travel to Glasgow this summer.
"Sometimes you have to box-off and that's what you have to do," added Fitzpatrick. "That's one more step to Glasgow for me now. I hope there are no more hiccups and that's me on my way."
Certainly, the Holy Trinity contingent were far from impressed and felt their man had won. Michael Hawkins, a coach at the club, says they intend to appeal.
"We thought we won three rounds out of three and Fitzpatrick looked as shocked as anyone," he said. "We will be lodging an official protest about that."
There was also victory for Oakleaf's Sean McGlinchey, who avenged January's Ulster final defeat to Gleann's Padraig McCrory with a split decision win after an absorbing contest at light-heavyweight in the night's other box-off.