Tyrone McKenna's dreams of securing a life-changing victory and the light-welterweight 'Golden Contract' were crushed as he lost a razor-thin decision to Ohara Davies in Wakefield on Wednesday night.
The Londoner took a majority decision with two of the three judges scoring it 96-94 in his favour, whilst the third ruled it a draw.
This was an extremely close fight and a case could have been made that McKenna did enough to retain his WBC International title, but it wasn't to be as Davies goes onto ink a promotional deal with a major promoter.
McKenna enjoyed the better of the initial exchanges, boxing out of the southpaw stance that had the Londoner problems in the past.
Whilst the Belfast man enjoyed a considerable height advantage, there wasn't much in reach as Davies popped out jabs and looked for a way in from a crouching position, but McKenna was picking him off early and trying to avoid the wars he is renowned for.
The Peter Taylor-trained fighter was reading Davies well and beating him to the punch, producing a disciplined performance early off the back foot.
Davies began to find his range a little early in the third as he upped the pressure but was picked off by a long, left counter in a round that came to life a little towards the end and the pair exchanged a flurry on the bell.
This was a sign for this fight to open up with Davies loading up, but his attacks were a little slow and predictable as McKenna read his intentions and returned with better, even pushing forward and willingly standing in range as his confidence grew.
The Belfast man was putting himself in the danger zone but seemed happy to take Davies' best shots to get his own off as the fight moved into the second half, yet these shots were clearly swaying the judges.
Both continued to have their moments with Davies finding a home for his right, but McKenna was able to return fire although a clash of heads opened a cut over his right eye.
McKenna enjoyed a fine seventh but was on the receiving end of the heavier shots in the following round as this fight remained all to play for.
Both men looked to take this fight by the scruff of the neck but there was little to choose between them as they entered the final three minutes with the heavier shots coming from Davies, but McKenna was producing some excellent work to make his own case.
With the fight in the melting pot, McKenna seemed slicker, boxing excellently as Davies appeared out of ideas although ultimately, it wasn't enough as he fell to a second career defeat and must now look to park the disappointment of a night when his efforts came up inches short.