When the final bell sounded at the SECC in Glasgow on Saturday night it was clear to one and all that Ricky Burns had lost his war with Raymundo Beltran. There was no shame in defeat, with the Scot boxing for some 10 rounds with a broken jaw and displaying the sort of raw courage that is so often found only in the sport of boxing.
Pain was etched onto the face of Burns as the decision was read out. Beltran waited patiently to hear Michael Buffer utter those magic words, "And the new", but they would never come. Instead the Mexican was forced to hear American judge Carlos Ortiz Jnr award the fight to Burns by some three rounds.
The Belgian official rightly awarded the contest to Beltran, only for England's Richie Davis to score it 114-114. It was a travesty. One of those shocking home town decisions that leave you questioning the morality of the sport.
It was impossible not to feel for Beltran. It says much that the 32 year old was best known for being Manny Pacquiao's sparring partner, had he arrived with his own big name, or big reputation, then it is unlikely he would have been on the wrong end of such a dreadful decision.
Just moments after hearing the verdict Beltran was back in his dressing room trying to come to terms with the fact he had been cruelly denied a world title. He refused to blame Burns and instead blamed the money men behind the scenes.
"Politics, it's always the same thing in boxing," said a clearly devastated Beltran. "There is money involved, it is business, every time they have a chance to protect their investment they do it. They play with the business, they have the power.
"If I got beat I got beat, I've been getting robbed every time. It is just so frustrating, there is so much sacrifice. We put ourselves on the line. But it is business."
Asked if he wanted a rematch, Beltran added: "I fight anybody but I want to fight in a fair place, I want to fight in America. Let's do it in America, I think I deserve a chance. Let's go to America and have a fight there - I am a champion."
Beltran's trainer Steve Feder was equally as cutting in his assessment of the decision, declaring it to be damaging to the sport he loves so much.
"We keep wondering why people are being turned off boxing," said Feder. "Here is the reason. What is the point of encouraging young people to come to fights when they then go home asking how on earth the obvious winner is not the champion?
"Yeah, Ray was robbed but so was boxing. This is killing the game. Okay, you get some odd decisions but this is one of the worst. We're corrupting a beautiful sport. When it's done right it is beautiful but tonight tarnished it."
In recent times we have seen plenty of British fighters endure bad decisions - such as when Matthew Macklin was cruelly denied a world title in Germany against Felix Sturm - but make no mistake, two wrongs certainly do not make a right.
Burns was on the verge of quitting on numerous occasions during the fight, such was the intense pain emanating from his jaw. The proud Scot refused to quit and we were reminded of the great Muhammad Ali suffering a similar injury at the hands of Ken Norton all the way back in 1973.
On that day Ali fought twelve gruelling rounds, and even though he lost a controversial decision, his stature within the sport was only enhanced. It takes a truly proud warrior to compete with such an injury, and no one would have felt anything but pride for Burns had he lost his world title.
Burns' promoter Eddie Hearn has questioned whether the two-weight world champion will ever return to the ring, saying: "He underwent surgery this morning. Everyone's talking about his next move. I can't even guarantee he'll box again at the moment."
We hope that Burns can recover from the injury and there is talk that he may be forced to move up in weight having struggled for power after draining himself to make lightweight. It would perhaps be fitting if he relinquished his title and Beltran was given another opportunity to claim a belt which rightfully deserves to be around his waist.
On Saturday we saw both sides of boxing. Burns was a shining example of a warrior who refuses to take a backwards step. Despite a hugely painful injury he showed grit, desire and determination. But we also saw the dark side of the sport as the judges wrongfully sided with the champion, for what reason we will never know.
There is always room for human error in scoring a fight but we hope that travesties like this become a more infrequent affair, for the sake of boxing.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail: