Oleksandr Usyk was given a stiff test by a brave Dereck Chisora but the Ukrainian claimed a unanimous decision victory to take a step closer towards fighting for a world heavyweight title next year.
The former undisputed cruiserweight champion was giving up almost 40lbs in weight in the headliner at Wembley's SSE Arena and had to be alert throughout as Chisora fulfilled his promise to keep his opponent under constant pressure.
Usyk took a couple of solid shots early on but used his superior speed and footwork to take create angles which repeatedly bamboozled Chisora, who staggered back to the ropes at the end of the seventh.
The bell ultimately came to Chisora's aid and although he recovered well, Usyk ended the fight strongly and was given the nod by two scores of 115-113 and one of 117-112 on the judges' scorecards.
Asked to give himself a mark out of 10 for his performance, Usyk told Sky Sports: "Three. It's a real test at heavyweight. Chisora is a big, hard guy. I fought his fight but I was expecting an even tougher fight."
Usyk (18-0, 13KOs) is the mandatory challenger for the WBO title currently held by Anthony Joshua, who was ringside.
When asked whether the goal is still to win a title in boxing's blue riband division, Usyk replied: "Not just world champion. Undisputed world champion."
While the 33-year-old was ultimately able to pick apart Chisora, showing encouraging signs of being able to get on the front foot and stun the British veteran, he was unable to make a statement by claiming a stoppage victory.