Rendall Munroe eased to a comfortable points win over Japan's Ryuta Miyagi in Sheffield on Saturday night as he continued to plot his course towards a second shot at a world title.
Referee Howard Foster scored the 10-round international bout 98-92 in favour of the Leicester super-bantamweight, although it was hard to see where he lost two rounds.
Miyagi arrived with a reputation as a dangerous puncher. However, it was clear from the outset that he was not in the same league as the last Japanese fighter Munroe met, the brilliant Toshiaki Nishioka, and the Leicester boxer was never troubled, controlling the fight virtually from the first bell.
Some might have wanted to see him stop the man from Osaka but, at the end of the day, Munroe did a thoroughly professional job and was barely out of breath at the final bell.
There were several significant pluses, too.
Munroe is not known as the fastest of starters but, at Ponds Forge, he was sharp from the word go, imposing himself on Miyagi, who was always willing if slightly limited.
Munroe's southpaw jab worked well, too, and the following left hand caused his opponent problems from first round to last.
Miyagi was rocked in the opening session with a sharp left hand, Munroe following up with some solid work to the body.
That was to be largely the pattern throughout, the vast majority of the quality work coming from Munroe.
Miyagi did have his moments, forcing Munroe back on to the ropes occasionally, but the former European champion was watchful and his defences remained tight. Invariably, he had the last say in any exchanges.
Munroe frequently looked to work to the body, too. He was warned by Foster in the third round when one shot strayed south of the border and he also received a ticking-off for what the referee perceived as dangerous use of the head.
They were blips, though, as Munroe built up a big lead over the course of the fight.
He did falter slightly in the seventh, which Miyagi might just have nicked, but the remaining three rounds were back to business, with the 36-year-old Japanese beginning to breathe hard.
A cut had begun to open on Miyagi's right eye in the closing stages and two crunching left hands from Munroe opened the wound with Foster stepping in to have a look in the 10th round.
He allowed the action to continue and that seemed to spur Miyagi into one desperate final last assault.
It came to nothing, Munroe's movement excellent as it had been from the word go.
At the final bell there was no doubt about the winner, Munroe unmarked while Miyagi wore the scars of battle.
Maybe the contest did not catch fire as the large crowd at the South Yorkshire would have liked but, as an exercise in getting back into action more than five months after his previous outing, the night went well for Munroe.
He is more aware than anybody that considerably sterner tests lie ahead if he is going to be crowned champion of the world.
But make no mistake, nobody craves those tests more than Munroe and, when they do arrive, he is sure that he will be up to the task.
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