Troy Williamson continued his steady rise as a professional as he ground out a points decision over Harry Scarff in a super-welterweight ten-rounder at York Hall on Saturday.

This was a tough, gruelling affair that was almost entirely fought at close quarters with few clean punches landed by either. It was a case of what the viewer liked, the non-stop aggression of Scarff, or the boxing on the backfoot of Williamson.

All three judges went for Williamson, Michael Alexander scoring it 97-94, Howard Foster 96-94 and Steve Gray 96-95, to give the man from the North-East a unanimous points decision.

“I felt I won, I felt I landed the cleaner shots,” Williamson said. “He started rushing me and got on my chest and wrestle me.

“It was quite a small ring and he made me work for every minute of every round.”

Williamson, 28, was once a highly-touted GB amateur, but he struggled throughout against the dogged Scarff, who was often the one landing the last punch in the exchanges. 

Scarff has some success when he kept things at distance, picking Williamson off on the way in, but too often the action was scrappy and at close quarters, with Williamson having to work hard to gain space to punch.

The style of fight seemed to suit Scarff more than Williamson. Scarff came forward throughout and was happy to cramp his own work in order to bully his opponent. Williamson had his moments, but he never looked comfortable and could do nothing to shift his opponent.

Williamson started the last round quickly, but he was tired and twice his gumshield was knocked out. At the final bell, Scarff raised his hands high, but would leave disappointed.

Marcus McDonnell refereed.

For what it is worth, Williamson was defending an IBF European belt, which is not to be confused with the widely-recognised European title, which is held by due to be contested by Giovanni De Carolis and Tyron Zeuge in November.

Paddy Donovan, the 21-year-old Irishman, recorded his fourth straight win as a professional, knocking Des Newton out with a right hook to the body 91 seconds into the first round.