Saturday night was all right for fighting but the end result left a sour taste.
Not for the first time in the colourful history of the sport, the cliché "we wuz robbed" was being bawled from one corner of the ring. Even the legendary MC, Michael Buffer, wore a slightly bemused face when he was handed the scorecards at the finale of Ricky Burns' World Boxing Organization lightweight title fight with Raymundo Beltran in a rumbling SECC in Glasgow at the weekend.
If the warbling Michelle McManus had thrown the singing masses off course by belting out three verses of 'Flower of Scotland' in the build-up to the bout, then many of those in attendance were left even more taken aback when the 12-round tussle ended in a draw.
The decision ensured that Burns, the 30-year-old from Coatbridge who showed remarkable spirit and teeth-grinding toughness to plough on through with a broken jaw, would retain his belt, but the sense of injustice in the Beltran camp will linger for a long time.
The Mexican had the Scot on the canvas in the eighth round, and when the final bell sounded, the 32-year-old bounded into his corner with the purposeful bounce of a man who felt he had done enough to secure a first world title. The decision by English judge Ritchie Davies to score the fight 114-114 with the deciding card meant Burns held on to his crown, although the general feeling of awkwardness all round was tangible.
"Scoring-wise, if I'm being honest, I gave it to Beltran, but I had it very, very close," admitted Burns' manager, Eddie Hearn. "If people think he lost the fight they have to report on that but I would like people to say, 'fair play to him, he is a brave son of a bitch'."
Steve Feder, Beltran's manager, delivered a calm, yet strong, airing of his views and claimed the sport of boxing as a whole had taken the most savage blow of all, and that its credibility had been left hanging forlornly on the ropes. He used words such as "corruption" to illustrate his sense of injustice, while all the while maintaining a quiet eloquence and a respect for those involved. "It is not the only day like that the sport has had," he said. "When you say he was robbed that makes it about us and last night [Saturday] was about boxing, and boxing was robbed. I don't blame Eddie or anyone at Matchroom [the boxing stable]. They were embarrassed. I think they're gentlemen and they're here because they love the sport but if I read them right, they're embarrassed.
"I don't think it sits well with them. Most importantly, Ricky didn't want to put that belt on. What does that say to you? It says that this guy is a real champion and he doesn't want to be given anything. This country should be incredibly proud of Ricky. This isn't about him. Ricky didn't rob us."
Hearn has admitted that "morally, a rematch would be the right thing", but that seems unlikely.
"Right now, this is a mourning period," added Feder. "I want to put together a situation where Ray will get a fair shake. I can't blame Scotland or the UK for this. Sometimes you go to a place and you think 'tough spot, the fix is in', but I never thought that here. But this could have been a great moment for the sport. We could have had a rematch in the States with this great Rockyesque story and everyone would have felt like reinvesting themselves in boxing because there is justice in it. It would have been great for his [Burns'] career and great for Ray's too."
The jaw injury sustained by Burns has put everything on hold, of course. His victory over Jose Gonzalez in May was not one of his more vintage performances and some are already questioning whether the Scot has reached his peak.
"I don't think so," responded Hearn, who expressed a desire to see Burns move up to light-welterweight and strive to become a three-weight world champion.
"Ricky is very driven, he lives the sport. I asked the team, looking ahead, where do we want to go? I am new to the team and the camp. I have never really butted in, but he is a world champion and he doesn't have a nutritionist, he doesn't have a strength-and-conditioning coach and I have employed those kinds of people for lesser fighters, so I think it is time to look at all these things. I think we need to spend our money and up our game in that respect."
The sport of boxing, meanwhile, will continue to deal with another blow to its bruised and battered image.