The talented Ben Whittaker eased to his eighth professional victory when he went 10 rounds for the first time in earning a unanimous decision over Eworitse Ezra Arenyeka. 

The Olympic silver medallist, 27, was awarded one score of 100-89 and two of 99-90 over the course of a largely one-sided fight at light heavyweight but, as against Leon Willings in March, rarely threatened to secure a stoppage at Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park.

He first hurt Arenyeka in the second round, and experienced Arenyeka attempting to manhandle him in the third – not unlike Marco Antonio Barrera once did with Naseem Hamed – when making him miss with a right hand.

A straight right hand, a left uppercut and a left to the body each caught the eye in the fourth, and in the fifth, after he absorbed one right hand, he landed another.

When Whittaker’s head movement contributed to Arenyeka falling short with another wild right hand in the sixth and Whittaker attempted to walk him back to his own corner at the round’s conclusion, Arenyeka responded by headbutting him.

The 28-year-old Nigerian was deducted a point in the seventh by the referee Bob Williams for the use of his elbow – and it was blatant – at a time when Whittaker was continuing to land but struggling to hurt him, perhaps demonstrating why he is considering rehiring Sugarhill Steward as his trainer.

It was also in the seventh that he started to look tired, having never previously gone beyond eight rounds, but by the eighth – when he landed another right uppercut – there was little doubt Arenyeka required a knockout to earn a victory, and a knockout simply never came close.