Anthony Joshua had to keep his composure as he overcame a suspected broken nose to defeat Carlos Takam in another powerhouse display.
Joshua won by technical knockout (TKO) after the referee stopped the fight in round ten to successfully defend his WBF and IBA heavyweight titles and make it 20 wins from 20 professional bouts.
A cagey opening three rounds at Cardiff's Principality Stadium saw Joshua take a blow to the nose after an untidy Takam lunge saw his head make contact with the Brit’s face.
But Joshua’s formidable punching power came to the fore in round four, and a savage right hook opened up a nasty cut above Takam’s right eye.
The hit dazed the Frenchman, and Joshua turned the screw, raining blows for the rest of the round.
Takam returned from his corner in round five, after fears he might not recover from the severity of the injury, with blood flowing into his eye.
However, medics ruled he was OK to continue and he fought valiantly on, despite Joshua dominating the remainder of the bout.
The Frenchman showing warrior-like spirit, Joshua’s power eventually told when the referee stopped the bout in the tenth round.
For Joshua, it was about keeping calm under pressure despite his, and it was this that gave him the edge over his tenacious opponent.
“I come to fight, I don't sit on the edge and make decisions. it was a good fight until the ref stopped it, so I have the utmost respect for Takam.
“Imagine if [my nose] was broke and I couldn’t breathe and he started catching up in the middle rounds?
“It would have been a disaster, so I kept my cool.
“You have to control these situations because, if I showed any signs of weakness, the ref could have jumped in. That's what he (Takam) tried to do, but the ref stopped it.
"Now there are belts on the line, there are obligations as champ."
Joshua went into the fight with 19 wins from 19 professional bouts, the most recent being his legendary victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Arena in April.
Joshua was initially scheduled to fight Kubrat Pulev in Cardiff, but the Bulgarian pulled out 12 days before the fight and was replaced by 36-year-old Takam, who had 35 wins from 39 fights before the showdown.
The Watford fighter was heavily fancied before the clash, and tipped the scales at 18st 2lbs at Friday’s weigh-in – the heaviest he has ever been for a fight – and his dominance shone from the start.
On the undercard, Dillian Whyte, whom Joshua beat in 2015, was dominant in his bout with Robert Helenius, beating the Scandinavian fighter on a unanimous points decision.
Fellow Brit Kal Yafai defeated Sho Ishida to retain his WBA super-flyweight title, while Irish fighter Katie Taylor won her WBA lightweight title after overpowering Anahi Sanchez.
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