Shawn Porter - the American powerhouse stripped of his IBF world welterweight title by Sheffield’s Kell Brook - claims to have re-established himself as a major player after his Saturday win over Adrien Broner in Las Vegas.
Porter, who was outpointed by Brook in California in August last year, dominated, earning a 118-108, 115-111 114-112 win.
But he had to survive a rocky last round when Broner sent him down with a left hand in the first minute.
Porter hung on to survive the contest, watched by a 8,138 crowd, which included card co-promoter Floyd Mayweather.
Porter and Brook are in the queue to fight the pound-for-pound king.
“This was a great fight for us and a great win. We are going to enjoy this fight and keep going,” Porter said.
He might not be so happy with the purse allocation: Broner earned $1.35m, compared to his $1m.
Liverpool fighter Paul Smith junior lost against the returning Andre Ward in California on Saturday night.
The fight was over in the second minute of the ninth round when Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher threw in the towel, suspecting the bloodied 32-year-old had broken his nose.
Although ‘The Real Gone Kid’ caught Ward with a good shot in the seventh round, he was on the back foot for much of the fight at Oakland’s Oracle Arena against his 31-year-old opponent.
Ward, who beat Carl Froch in 2011, dominated Smith in his first fight for 19 months because of issues with his former promoter and now boasts a record of 28-0.
The future is unclear for British super-middleweight champion Smith, who last year lost out in his challenge for Arthur Abraham’s WBO title in Germany.
Smith weighed in 4.4lbs over the 172-pound catchweight limit for his most recent bout and reportedly paid with a share of his purse.