Liam Smith secured another world title shot after out-pointing Liam Williams in their Newcastle rematch.
The super-welterweight rivals went the distance in another gruelling affair but this time, the Liverpudlian won a majority decision, 114-114, 116-112, 117-111, to take the official WBO eliminator at the Metro Radio Arena.
Miguel Cotto currently holds it and has said he will retire after his December 2 defence against Sadam Ali, with the Liverpudlian guaranteed the chance to win back the title he held before losing out to Saul Alvarez.
In comparison to their April fight, when Smith failed to make weight but came away victorious after Williams was forced to retire in the ninth after a nasty clash of heads, the second fight was entertaining, with the odd moment of contention.
Both fighters traded authority throughout the rematch, with the fifth round sparking some controversy as Smith landed a hook to the body when his opponent was in-between the ropes, while Williams caught Smith after the bell in the same round – with both men going unpunished.
An accidental clash of heads from Williams in the seventh did not cause the damage it did in the first bout as both men pushed for an opening before the 25-year-old caught Smith with a flurry in the 10th.
The 29-year-old hit back with a stinging combination in the next to set up a grandstand finish, but neither fighter could land the knockout blow.