This past Saturday night at Copper Boxing in London, Welshman Lee Selby (26-1, 9 KOs) secured a unanimous points victory over Eduardo Ramirez to retain his IBF featherweight world title.
Selby's belt was not on the line after Ramirez failed to make the weight, but the 30-year-old, who lost his mother just days before he defended his title against Jonathan Victor Barros in July - a fight which had been postponed after the Argentine failed a blood test - appeared keen on putting on a good show.
Ramirez may have arrived in England eight pounds over the featherweight limit, but he, too, was up for the fight, and the southpaw provided a nagging test throughout the 12 rounds.
The Mexican came out full of intent in the opening exchanges but as the contest wore on, Selby, fighting in white shorts with gold trim, began to wear his opponent down.
Selby caught Ramirez with some good shots towards the end of the third before an upper cut in the closing moments of the fifth and a clean left in the ensuing round, ensured he was ahead on the scorecard when the fight reached its midway point.
Despite his endeavour, Ramirez, who until Saturday night had never been the distance, began to tire, but Selby failed to take meaningful advantage.
The Welshman appeared intent on ending the bout with a stoppage in the final round, but despite a slip from Ramirez, his opponent made it to the bell.
The judges scored the contest 118-110, 119-109, 116-112 in Selby's favour as the Welshman successfully defended his title for a fourth time.
Now Selby's attention goes to a mandatory title defense against longtime rival Josh Warrington (26-0, 6 KOs), who knocked out undefeated Dennis Ceylan in October to secure the shot.
Selby is ready to do the fight at Elland Road in Leeds.
“If the money is at Elland Road, it makes sense to me,” said Selby to the Yorkshire Post. “That’s what it comes down to. First of all it’s a massive fight. He has earned the mandatory position so to get there he has to be a good fighter. A fight between Josh and I would be massive and fantastic for British boxing.”