Matthew Hatton lost a unanimous decision to defending titlist Chris van Heerden in their IBO welterweight title fight in South Africa on Saturday.
It was the Englishman's third failure to secure a world title and for most of the fight he never really looked like making the breakthrough.
Hatton, younger brother of former world champion Ricky, was kept in check by the South African whose big early lead was enough to secure a one-sided decision.
The judges eventually scored it 118-110, 117-112 and 116-112 in favour of the van Heerden.
Hatton did at least manage to go down fighting and caught his opponent with some decent blows late on.
That caused some anxiety amongst the Johannesburg crowd as their man suffered a cut above his right eye.
It temporarily left van Heerden struggling to see but he was able to ride out Hatton's late rally and retain his title by a wide points margin.
Hatton's record is now 52 fights, 43 wins, seven losses and two draws. The 31-year-old has lost two and drawn once in his three world title bouts.