Kell Brook is the new IBF welterweight champion after claiming a majority decision over Shawn Porter in Carson, California.
The Sheffield fighter had been waiting 18 months for his title shot after seeing three clashes with Devon Alexander fall through, with Porter taking advantage to defeat Alexander and claim the belt.
But Brook took his chance when it came in a tight and at times untidy clash, with the judges handing him the contest 114-114, 117-111, 116-112.
Brook’s win now sets up the potential for a domestic tussle against Amir Khan with both men eventually eyeing a bout against pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather who holds the WBC and WBA straps.
The early rounds were tight affairs with Porter showing more aggression getting forward but Brook getting the better shots in and using the jab.
Brook was cut at the end of second but the wound did not appear to be deep and the 28-year-old gave a good showing in the third but Porter was still looking the busier despite not particularly troubling his opponent.
Porter sustained a cut at the end of the sixth and Brook rocked the American with a big uppercut in the closing stages of the next with the Briton beginning to look on top in the middle stages.
Brook was now the aggressor, taking the fight to his opponent at every opportunity, perhaps sensing that he would have to impress to be handed a points decision in Porter’s home country.
And so it proved, with the judges handing Brook the decision as the Yorkshireman improved his record to 33-0 and inflicted a first professional defeat on Porter.
“I knew I was born to do this,” Brook said after the victory. “I’ve come over here to his back yard from little England and I’m the champ.”
On a potential fight with Khan, he added: “The British public want it. He’ll probably say that I need to win another title for the fight. I know he doesn’t like me.
“The fact is, he is getting it. I’m the champ of the world.”
And despite Brook’s barbs, Khan stressed he would be happy to face the new champion, setting up the potential for a clash to rival that between George Groves and Carl Froch at Wembley earlier this year.
“If the fight can happen, let’s make it happen,” Khan said.
“I’m up for it. I think I’d like that in somewhere like Wembley Stadium, we can fill that out, that would be a quick sell.
“It’s the fight that the UK fans want to see and have been talking about for such a long time.”