El Gato did enough to seal victory as both fighters struggled to land shots
JACK CATTERALL edged closer to a world title fight after nicking a genuine snoozefest against Ohara Davies.
The Chorley man was given the nod by all three judges but barely celebrated the result of a workmanlike performance.
The southpaw's style never gelled with his orthodox opponent but he did enough to bag the rounds, retain his WBO inter-continental light-welterweight title, and swiftly forget what had just happened.
But despite the dull nature of the win, it is a victory which will cement his place in the WBO's top three.
It means he continues to close in on a crack at the main belt, which is currently held by American Mo Hooker, who beat Terry Flanagan to claim it back in June.
Judge Fernando Laguna made Catterall a 118-110 winner while Phil Edwards and Manuel Palomo saw it closer at 115-113.
It was a wonder the trio managed to stay awake as the two boxers engaged in the classic front-hand tapathon from their opposing stances.
Right-handed Davies, wearing the famous green and gold of his former amateur club Repton, spent much of the fight hoping to draw Catterall onto his dangerous cross.
But the champion from Chorley was happy occasionally scoring with jabs to the body and the odd left uppercut from his southpaw stance.
For the most part, however, the pair looked at each other, waiting for an opening that never came.
They were in pretty regular dialogue throughout, much to the annoyance of Davies' new coach Miguel Dapenticul, who ordered him to keep shtum.
But the cornerman was unable to inspire a change of gear from Davies, who allowed round after round to slip out of his grasp.
Chants of 'Chorley Chorley' went up from the noisy pocket of visiting Catterall fans in the Leicester Arena at the start of the 12th.
It turned out to be the best action session of the fight as Catterall's landed punches just about crept into double figures.
But the 25-year-old will head north happy with a job well done having barely shipped a punch and now 23-0 with a world title fight on the horizon.