Luke Campbell was forced to settle for a points win over Chuck Jones after the lightweight prospect went the distance for the first time.
The Olympic gold medallist had made a blistering start to his professional career, but he could not extend his three-fight knockout streak as Jones stubbornly stood firm until the finish.
Jones stepped in to face Campbell at late notice and he might have regretted this decision after being staggered by a sharp left hand in the opening minute.
Campbell was displaying his swift hand speed and he caught Jones with punches from all angles.
Stiff jabs pierced Jones' guard in the second round and Campbell continued the assault with some hurtful hooks.
Jones tried to respond with clubbing punches, but Campbell easily avoided his crude attacks and fired back with crisp combinations.
There was more urgency from Campbell in the final round as he searched for a stoppage, but the Welshman withstood fierce flurries, defiantly fending off punches until the final bell.
Speaking afterwards, Campbell insisted he did not take his opponent too lightly.
He said: "(There were) a fair few changes of opponents by no-one's fault. You've got to get in there and cope with what is in front of you.
"I would never say I would lack a bit of motivation. I didn't know anything about the kid. I just got in there and did what I did without looking at any tapes or anything like that."