“The Ghost” survived a scare Saturday night.

Frank Martin had much more trouble with Artem Harutyunyan than Michel Rivera gave him in Martin’s previous fight at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Harutyunyan’s herky-jerky style and persistent pressure during the first nine rounds enabled the unknown underdog from Germany to test Martin much more than the 12-1 odds on their 12-round lightweight fight indicated he would.

Martin ultimately took control, dominated Harutyunyan during the 10th, 11th and 12 rounds, and narrowly won a unanimous decision. The assertive southpaw forced Harutyunyan to take a knee to protect his severely swollen left eye with 56 seconds remaining in their “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event.

That point deduction was the difference on the scorecard of judge Steve Weisfeld, who scored Martin a 114-113 winner. Judges Max De Luca and Tim Cheatham both scored their fight 115-112 for Martin (18-0, 12 KOs), who would’ve won on their cards without the knockdown.

“I just knew I wasn’t like active enough, as I normally am,” Martin told Showtime’s Jim Gray in the ring. “It was some shots, I seen a lotta shots that I coulda took, but it was just like my reaction time just wasn’t like on point tonight. He definitely a tough opponent. I wouldn’t say that it was too difficult. It was just my reaction time wasn’t working like it normally do for me. It was a lotta shots I seen – I couldn’t tell you [why]. Just my timing seemed a little off.”

Martin commended Harutyunyan (12-1, 7 KOs) for taking “some big shots” during a one-sided sixth round and then later in their fight.

Indianapolis’ Martin, 28, wasn’t nearly as dominant as he was when he out-classed a then-undefeated Rivera (24-1, 14 KOs) on December 17 at The Cosmopolitan. He dropped the Dominican Republic’s Rivera in the seventh round and won by big margins on all three scorecards (120-107, 118-109, 117-110).

Harutyunyan, 32, made his debut in the United States. Before Saturday night, Harutyunyan had fought almost exclusively in his hometown of Hamburg, Germany, where he and his family moved from Armenia when he was 1 year old.

The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist faced the toughest opponent of his five-year professional career in Martin. He responded by giving the heavily favored fighter everything Martin could handle during the first nine rounds.

“Congratulations to Frank Martin,” Harutyunyan said. “He’s a good fighter, but I saw every punch from him. The last round my eye got hurt very bad, so that was the point where I had to take a few seconds to recover. And I think this round was the only round that decided [the outcome] and give it to him.”

CompuBox counted 50 more connections overall for Martin (167-of-539 to 117-of-442). Martin landed more power punches (106-of-251 to 91-of-299) and more jabs (61-of-288 to 26-of-143), according to CompuBox.

Martin was especially effective in the final three rounds, when CompuBox credited him for landing 39 more punches combined than Harutyunyan (60-of-182 to 21-of-73).

Martin went for the knockout during the 12th round, when he pressed the action and landed numerous head and body shots as Harutyunyan did everything he could to make it to the final bell. Harutyunyan had difficulty seeing due to swelling around his left eye and took a knee with 56 seconds to go in their fight.

Martin couldn’t finish him, but he gained another point when Harutyunyan opted to take a knee.

Martin was the aggressor again throughout the 11th round, when Harutyunyan stayed mostly on his back foot and tried to avoid Martin’s power shots.

Martin’s right hook connected with just over 30 seconds to go in the 11th round. Harutyunyan went down with 18 seconds on the clock in the 11th round, but referee Thomas Taylor ruled that it was the result of a slip.

A left-right combination by Martin made Harutyunyan stumble just before the 11th round ended.

Martin knocked Harutyunyan backward with a left hand that connected with just under 10 seconds to go in the 10th round. Martin’s punch output kept Harutyunyan from throwing many punches during the 10th round.

Martin let his hands go just after the midway mark of the 10th round, which forced Harutyunyan to move across the ring.

Martin snapped back Harutyunyan’s head with a stiff jab a little less than a minute into the 10th round. Taylor warned Martin for a low blow about 20 seconds into the 10th round.

Harutyunyan’s right connected and Martin responded with a left with just over 25 seconds to go in the ninth round.

A right hand by Harutyunyan connected with about 1:50 on the clock in the ninth round. Harutyunyan landed a right uppercut a little less than a minute into the ninth round.

Harutyunyan’s left uppercut connected with just under a minute on the clock in the eighth round. A right-left combination by Martin landed about 40 seconds into the eighth round.

Harutyunyan recovered from a rough sixth round to make the seventh round very competitive. He nailed Martin with a right to the body that connected with just under 13 seconds on the clock in the seventh round.

After taking another right hand, Martin hammered Harutyunyan with multiple right hooks as he unloaded an array of power punches in the middle minute of the sixth round. Martin sensed Harutyunyan was hurt and tried to capitalize on that momentum.

Martin’s aggression made Harutyunyan retreat for most of the second half of the sixth round. Toward the end of the sixth round, Martin landed a left-right combination to Harutyunyan’s body and then a left-right combination to his head.

Harutyunyan landed a right to Martin’s body with just over a minute to go in the fifth round. Their heads came together several times during a fifth round that didn’t include many clean punches.

Martin’s footwork made it difficult for Harutyunyan to land clean punches in the fourth round.

Another left by Martin landed about 1:05 into the fourth round. Martin finished a combination with a left hand up top a little less than 40 seconds into the fourth round.

Harutyunyan hit Martin with a straight right that split Martin’s guard with just under 25 seconds on the clock in the third round. Harutyunyan landed a hard right to Martin’s body with just under 1:40 remaining in the third round.

Martin made an aggressive Harutyunyan miss with most of his punches in the opening minute of the third round.

Martin nailed Harutyunyan with a left hand that connected with about 50 seconds on the clock in the second round. Martin landed a left to Harutyunyan’s body with just under 1:10 to go in the second round.

Martin landed a right and then a left to Harutyunyan’s body with just under a minute remaining in the opening round, when Harutyunyan pressured Martin from beginning to end. Martin came back with a left hand immediately after Harutyunyan landed a right hand with just over 1:35 to go in the first round.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.