Mikkel Kessler admitted he could not handle the pace set by Carl Froch as the Nottingham man took a points win in their exciting rematch.
Froch made a fast start against his super-middleweight rival and Kessler did not gain a foothold until the middle rounds, but 'The Cobra' came on strong to earn a unanimous decision at the 02 Arena in London.
Kessler almost staged a grandstand finish in the 11th when a right hand left Froch on unsteady legs, but the gruelling battle had taken his toll on the 34-year-old who could not force a stoppage.
The Dane felt Froch's legion of fans had created a hostile atmosphere for him, but was glad to share the ring with another proud warrior.
"It was tough with the good crowd he has at home," he said. "It's not nice to come into such an arena when it's not your own people.
"It's nice to see so many boxing fans here, but still I know there will be a lot of Danish people at home and I want to thank them very much for supporting me. I gave it my all. I was tired in the end.
"I hurt Carl in the 11th round, but I couldn't follow I hadn't the energy to do it.
"It was a very tough fight, and very tough coming over here, but it is nice to fight a warrior who wants to fight."