Local lad Carl Froch was defending his world title on his home patch in the early hours of this morning [Sunday] but across the city it was Nottingham Forest who demonstrated the pugilist's art with an empathic victory coursing with blood, thunder and a fair amount of nimble footwork at the City Ground on Saturday night.
Dexter Blackstock scored the only goal of an invigorating contest in which Newcastle United emerged second best, a position they now occupy in the league following a defeat that ensured they were deposed from the summit by West Bromwich Albion's superior goal scoring.
While Newcastle were on the ropes during a pulsating first half, the Geordies rallied but could not prevent Forest and manager Billy Davies securing a fourth successive win that hoisted them to the brink of the play-offs.
Davies, though, was more concerned with the plight of Chris Hughton whose role as Newcastle caretaker manager has endured a torrid time of takeover rumours at St James' Park.
"In my humble opinion they should give him (Hughton) the job immediately," said Davies, who has experienced the fickle vagaries of boardroom politics from his turbulent days at Derby County.
"He has done a wonderful job in very difficult circumstances."
As early as the third minute the visitors were on the retreat when Blackstock's glanced header was denied by Steve Harper's fine save.
The tempo did not relent, either, with Blackstock pivotal in its application. In fact, the former QPR forward was unfortunate when another header, this time from captain Paul McKenna's corner, defeated Harper but rebounded off the right hand post.
In response, Ryan Taylor's free kick smacked safely off the woodwork after eluding everyone including Lee Camp but the effort was as incongruous to the pattern of play as it was a fluke.
When it appeared that Newcastle might escape to the sanctuary of the dressing room with parity, Forest finally finished to good effect, fittingly the most flowing move of a hugely enjoyable match.
Tyson and Guy Moussi were involved but it was Radoslaw Majewski's vision that released Blackstock, marginally onside, and though his dink beyond Harper was not convincing it carried enough pace and accuracy to count.
Newcastle's second half rally saw Peter Lovenkrands woefully profligate from Kevin Nolan's set up and the latter thought he had levelled when he converted Taylor's centre at the far post. The effort was ruled offside, rightly so. Justice seen to be done.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-1-1): Camp; Gunter, Morgan, Wilson, Cohen; Anderson (McGugan 80), McKenna (Garner 86), Moussi, Tyson, Majewski (McGoldrick 61), Blackstock
Subs: Chambers, Adebola, McCleary, P Smith (g). Booked: Garner
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Harper; Taylor, Khizanishvili, Simpson, Jose Enrique; Guthrie, A Smith, Nolan, Lovenkrands (Gutierrez 61); Carroll, Harewood (Ranger 83)
Subs: Geremi, Butt, Krul (g), Kadar, Donaldson. Booked: A Smith, Khizanishvili, Taylor
Referee: P Taylor (Hertfordshire)