Anthony Joshua endured a frustrating night before eventually stopping Carlos Takam and defending his IBF and WBA heavyweight titles in 10 rounds in Cardiff.
In his first fight since ending the career of the great and once-dominant Wladimir Klitschko, 28-year-old Joshua required his advantages in size, speed and power to gradually wear down his previously little-known opponent from France.
This was Joshua's 20th professional fight and he came into it with 19 wins inside the distance. Joshua climbed off the canvas to knock out Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round in April but flaws in that barnstormer were again underlined here.
Takam had only taken the fight at short notice after Kubrat Pulev withdrew but Joshua found the short and squat Frenchman a stubborn customer.
Joshua was troubled by a damaged nose but he had to endure some uncomfortable moments before a big attack in the 10th round ended the contest.
Bigger fights against superior opponents are expected to follow in 2018 - but in defeating his mandatory challenger and excluding that with Klitschko, the Briton unexpectedly faced the toughest match-up of his career.