GARY Cornish fell short in his bid for British heavyweight glory as Sam Sexton won their long-awaited bout.
Sexton took the fight by unanimous decision as Cornish ensured it went to the judges' scorecards.
A late resurgence was not enough to take the bout in Cornish's direction, who tasted his second career defeat in Edinburgh.
It was by no means a classic, with both fighters holding at regular intervals and no real ebb and flow to the contest developing.
Cornish will now have to take some time away to decide what is next for him, after he went full time under the MTK Scotland banner at the end of last year.
The win for Sexton ensures he lives on in the heavyweight division, after suggesting he would hang up the gloves if he failed to do the business.
The fight was originally due to take place five months ago but Sexton withdrew the week before the fight with a back injury.
He had not boxed since last July, with Cornish only having one fight in that time: a points win over Kamil Sokolowski in his first bout for MTK.
Merkinch heavyweight Cornish surprised many in the build-up to this fight by splitting from trainer Billy Nelson, electing to do his final training camp in Manchester with Johnney Roye, who was in Cornish's corner at the Meadowbank Sports Centre.
The Highlander was light on his feet in the opening two rounds but had already seen a cut open up above his left eye. If anyone was the more aggressive, Sexton appeared to be coming forward with greater purpose.
That continued in round three as Sexton maintained control of the centre of the ring, with Cornish struggling to land many meaningful blows.
It took until round five for Cornish to pin Sexton into the corner and unload his first flurry of the contest. However the left eye was still a concern, with a cut now opened up below it.
No sooner had his corner dealt with those, the Invernessian started bleeding from the nose as Sexton landed several heavy rights.
The contest was far from a classic, with too many clinches and Cornish was forced to step off in round eight after tagging the Norwich fighter in the back of the head.
Battered and bruised appeared to be Cornish's default state as his left ear started streaming in the ninth as Sexton stepped in to land more clinical shots than his opponent.
It was needing a big final three rounds from Cornish to stand any chance of walking away with the belt. Too few combinations and Sexton's more aggressive approach had the fight heading his way.
The 10th had the home crowd on their feet as the Scot maneuvred Sexton into the corner again but those previous cuts, coupled with his glove tape coming undone for the second time, slowed any momentum.
The penultimate round had Cornish holding on to take it a decisive three minutes, to determine the new British champion.
Cornish knew it was now or never, needing to take a few hits to land some as he hemmed Sexton in against the ropes for a sustained 20-second assault.
However it was not enough to bring the Lonsdale belt back to Inverness, with all three judges scoring the fight in Sexton's favour.