The fighting spirit of fireman Jez Wilson burned bright but his quest for a British title shot ended in disappointment after being extinguished by John Ryder in the ninth round.
Crosspool middleweight Wilson earned plenty of plaudits in what was only his second career defeat, giving a tough time to Ryder who was narrowly beaten by the highly-rated Billy Joe Saunders in his previous shot at the British crown last September.
More than a year out of the ring did not look to have had a severe affect on Wilson who managed to expose flaws in Ryder, particularly defensively, in this British title eliminator.
Heavy favourite Ryder started the better and looked a class above in the early stages at the historic York Hall in Bethnal Green, picking his shots well and staying out of trouble.
But Wilson was not going anywhere and showed incredible grit to force his way into the bout following the first four rounds.
Glyn Rhodes-trained Wilson consistently landed a jab against his southpaw foe, increasingly troubling Ryder whose claims for a comfortable win were ebbing away.
But the London fighter roared back to ensure an early finish.
Ryder rocked Wilson with a right hook and followed up ferociously with further hooks to send him down on one knee.
Though Wilson made the count, the official waved off the bout with the 34-year-old clearly dazed.
n The semi-finals of the Yorkshire senior ABA championships have been moved to the Colley Club in Parson Cross on Tuesday night. Doors open at 7pm and tickets are £10 on the door.