Anthony Crolla stayed on course for a world title shot with a hard-fought victory over gutsy Mexican Edson Ramirez at The Principality Stadium.
The Manchester favourite had to overcome a cut to his right eye to outwork 'Buba' Ramirez, on his way to claiming a unanimous decision victory, via scores of 100-91, 100-90 and 98-92, on Saturday night.
Both men eased into the contest early on, using the first period to find their range and probe for openings, Crolla, working behind a crisp left jab, perhaps getting the better.
After a cagey opener, the lightweight clash sparked into life in the next, 'Million Dollar' showing his class with a left-right hook combination before a ramming uppercut planted home.
With Crolla seemingly well on top, a nasty head-clash then had the former WBA world champion cut above the right eye, the 31-year-old evidently frustrated as blood trickled down his face.
Despite the setback, and after positive recovery work from the corner, Crolla looked unnerved as the fight continue past the fourth, boxing well on the front foot and outlanding the game Mexican.
The physically imposing Ramirez was proving no pushover though and a sharp left sent out a timely reminder to the Mancunian in the sixth, but again Crolla replied with the cleaner and busier work.
Clearly in the lead, 'Million Dollar' eased towards the finish line and eventually got the better of the tough and rugged Mexican to steer himself closer to a potential world title bid later this year.