A number of fans claimed the challenger had done enough to take the belt
Billy Joe Saunders was among the first to cry robbery after Josh Warrington beat Kid Galahad on Saturday night.
The Leeds champion got the decision in his home arena, prompting his opponent’s former Sheffield gymmate to react angrily on social media.
Saunders, who used to train alongside Galahad under Dominic Ingle, tweeted: “Boxing p***es me off for that reason. Robbery. Kid Galahad put it all on the line.”
The fight itself began positively for Galahad as he landed a left hand which knocked Warrington slightly off balance and caught his attention in the opening round.
The champion began to implement his high-pressure style in response, though it was largely negated by Galahad, setting the scene for extended parts of the contest.
In the second, the Sheffield man continued his positive work, switching stances and landing single shots before holding to neutralise his rival.
By the end of the following session, the usually raucous Leeds crowd were noticeably subdued as they likely feared this may not be as glorious a night as when they saw their man conquer Lee Selby and Carl Frampton last year.
Warrington had moments of success in rounds four and five, but Galahad ultimately negotiated him well and continued to pick single shots throughout the middle of the fight.
However, there is certainly an argument that many of these rounds were close and could have gone either way.
While Galahad’s style appeared effective to a lot of observers at home, the scoring judges were seemingly less impressed as he held frequently and allowed his opponent to be the aggressor.
Nevertheless, heading into the championship rounds Galahad appeared to have found a comfort zone, despite being warned for holding by the referee and naively opening up his defence as a result.
Before the tenth, Warrington’s father/trainer Sean O’Hagan was heard issuing him with a rallying cry: “Do you wanna keep that f***ing belt? Do you wanna go back to work?”
The IBF king, spurred on by these words, upped the tempo in the tenth and initially had increased success, but became reckless and was caught by single jabs and uppercuts from Galahad on the approach.
In the fight’s conclusion, Warrington gave it his all to try and get over the line on the front foot, while the challenger remained composed and continued his effective spoiling tactics.
However these were not rewarded by the judges as the champion retained his title with split scores of 115-113 Galahad, 116-112 Warrington and 116-113 Warrington.
Speaking in the immediate aftermath, Warrington insisted he deserved the victory and stated: “Don’t get me wrong, he was landing some clean shots, but you can’t come into the champion’s back yard and win on pop-shotting singles.
“I’ve gotta give him his credit, there was a lot of holding there, but it’s a fight as well as a boxing match.
“It’s one of the most tense I’ve been for a fight, I think it’s because of the pressure I put on myself.”
Galahad did not give an interview after the decision was read out, a move seemingly designed to speak for itself.