Tony Bellew edged closer to title contention with Saturday's unanimous points win over Argentina's Roberto Bolonti in Nottingham, but he had to contend with a gruesome cut above his right eye from the third round.
Bellew, 27, had been on the verge of a stoppage win after flooring the Argentinian twice before he suffered the cut that left the fight close to being halted.
But Bellew boxed smartly to avoid further damage to the eye and won by scores of 120-106 on two cards and 119-107 to claim the WBC silver light-heavyweight belt in what was also a world title eliminator.
Bellew now hopes to challenge WBC light-heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, of America, next year.
"I'm on the tail of Dawson and I've got no problem facing him," Bellew said. "I think he's the best in the world and I want to step up."