Erik Robles stunned Lee McGregor to win the vacant IBO super-bantamweight world title in an exciting bout at Meadowbank.
After an enthralling 12 rounds in Edinburgh, the Scot’s fight back home ended in anger as all three judges scored in favor of the Mexican.
The loss is the first of McGregor’s career after 14 fights, while Robles’ record now stands at 14 wins and one loss in 15.
The Mexican had a roaring crowd against him but he started strongly in the first round putting the home favorite under serious pressure.
However, McGregor responded with good work and a nice body kick to an electric entrance. That did little to unsettle Robles, who maintained his impressive start to the second with precision and power in his combinations.
McGregor, known for a slow start and strong finish, improved to third despite having to deal with relentless flurries from the Mexican’s quick gloves.
Robles’ early pace was shaky and it became evident in the fourth as McGregor took advantage and tried to gain ground in the fight with hard jabs and body shots.
However, when questions began to be asked about Robles’ durability, the Mexican would dispel those doubts with quick-fire combinations and clever movement.
McGregor, meanwhile, had to show his “big heart” earlier than he would have hoped with the showdown halfway through.
The Scot’s seventh and eighth rounds were more about trickery than guts, with a strategy of landing shots from distance, including two big left hands, proving fruitful.
The ninth brought another level of intrigue considering it was the first time Robles had gone that far in a professional fight, but the man from Mexico never looked too deep as he delivered a strong finish to the round.
The energy levels of both fighters were called into question early in the tenth. Then, noise. Robles was released in the center of the ring before McGregor countered with a stunning left and a cracking body shot that left the Mexican holding on.
A fascinating encounter continued to ebb and flow in the penultimate round, with McGregor doing a mix of eating and blocking blasts from Robles.
A raucous Meadowbank crowd helped McGregor pull away in the 12th as a rousing rendition of Flower of Scotland rang out around the venue, with both fighters raising their hands at the final bell.
However, it was Robles’ glove that the referee would remove when it mattered, as McGregor fell to the canvas in a broken heart.
Ten weeks ago, the Scot doubted whether his boxing could continue after a two-year spell filled with injuries, postponed fights, financial worries and family concerns.
Despite the defeat, the Scot must not let this defeat spoil a career that still holds so much promise at the age of 26.