Glenn Foot set up a British light-welterweight title shot at Tyrone Nurse after winning a "war" of an eliminator against Adam Little in Wigan.
The all-action Sunderland fighter beat his Lancashire opponent over 10 brutally-contested rounds at the DW Stadium.
Foot took it via a unanimous points victory, his manager, Phil Jeffries, describing it as the "best win of his career" to set up with a crack at Nurse in 2017.
"It was a great win," declared Jeffries. "He's come to the other kid's back yard and taken the fight.
"This was a proper fight and a cracking win, I'm over the moon with him.
"I have to take my hat off to Adam as well, he's a big lad, with a good long jab and he had joy as well in the fight.
"But it was a real Glenn Foot fight, he was at his most snarling best.
"To come and win down here was brilliant.
"I'd have to rate this as the best win of his career, even better than when he became the Prizefighter champion."
Foot's coach, David Binns, had said before the bout that he wanted the 29-year-old Marley Potts crowd favourite to take a more clinical route.
But, as it transpired, the former British and Commonwealth welterweight title challenger did what Foot does best - fight.
"I think his aggressive style made the difference," added Jeffries. "Little was no mug but Glenn gave him no peace and had him on the back foot.
"It was a fabulous win. He had great support here and it was a fantastic night for Sunderland."