STUART Brookes survived a count to see off the challenge of a cage fighting champion to set up a title bout in September.
The Mexborough fighter beat the unconventional Attilla Nagy to a 58-57 points win at the Dome on Friday, securing a British Masters title fight with Harry Matthews later this year.
But he had to survive a count after touching down towards the end of the third round.
Unbeaten Nagy has beaten heavyweight fighters inside cages and the muscle-bound Hungarian certainly made for an intimidating opponent.
He could only be described as a brawler, throwing punches from all angles and driving forward.
At one stage, as he backed Brookes into the corner with a barrage of big hooks, Nagy looked as though he was going to follow up with a knee to the stomach and visibly had to hold himself back.
The unpredictability and physicality which Nagy brought ensured Brookes was in for an uncomfortable night.
He was vulnerable to the left hook from Nagy but began to find the jab with regularity towards the end of the first round.
A left hook of his own rattled the Hungarian in the second round and Nagy went down later but the referee judged it to be a trip rather than a knockdown.
There was no such leniency for Brookes at the end of the third when a big left hook saw him touch down.
Brookes made the count but it left him with plenty to do in the later stages of the bout.
And he produced the goods, responded well in the fourth with several slick combinations that had Nagy baffled.
Brookes managed to restrict Nagy to one aggressive flurry in the fifth, taking control of the round with intelligent shot selection.
The good work continued into a quieter final round with the pace of the contest taking its toll on both men.
But Brookes had done enough to secure victory from as difficult a contest he could have wished for.
* For action photos and more analysis see the Times on Thursday June 14