Lee Selby: IBF world featherweight champion beats Eduardo Ramirez
IBF world featherweight champion Lee Selby punched his way to a unanimous points victory over Mexico's Eduardo Ramirez at the Copper Box Arena.
Welshman Selby, who has had a difficult 2017 inside and outside the ring, knew he could not lose his title after his opponent failed to make the weight.
And he showed his speed and sleek footwork as Ramirez threw a huge number of shots that missed completely.
The judges scored the contest 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112 in Selby's favour.
Fighters of the calibre of Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares and Gary Russell Jr are potential opponents for Selby, but the 30-year-old will first settle a long-time domestic grudge with Josh Warrington.
That fight now seems a certainty for the spring, with Frank Warren, who promotes both fighters, having provisionally booked dates at Elland Road in Leeds.
Warrington is a prolific ticket-seller and Selby, desperate to take his career where the bigger names and pay days loom, will have no qualms about fighting in the 27-year-old's hometown.
It would be a welcome spectacle for Selby, who saw a fight against Jonathan Victor Barros in Las Vegas called off earlier this year before beating the Argentine in July just days after his mother Frankie had died.
Warrington, at ringside, will have been impressed by the way Selby stuck to his task after a tumultuous week during which his opponent failed to make the weight - losing any chance of snatching the title - and went missing from the head-to-head news conference.
Selby - with one defeat in his 27 fights - started with some fine combinations and settled into a groove, making his unbeaten opponent look leaden footed as he controlled the ring and landed clean shots and combinations.
Ramirez never looked like he could hurt the champion, but did show some of his pedigree in a second session in which he looked the equal of Selby.
The Welshman says fans will only see his best when he fights the stars of the division, but he could have done little more to impress against Ramirez, though he did become a little ragged in the final rounds.
On an otherwise disappointing night for Welsh boxers, heavyweight Dorian Darch was stopped by the heavy hands of Daniel Dubois, who secured a sixth successive win inside the distance with a second-round TKO.
Middleweight Lee Churcher was also soundly beaten, stopped in the 11th round by Joe Mullender, who floored the Welshman three times en route to a comprehensive victory.