IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby (22-1, 8 KOs) outpointed former three-division world champion Fernando Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs) on Wednesday night at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
The Welshman had a tough battle throughout but won by wide scores of 119-109 118-110 and 116-112.
Selby controlled the action in the early rounds behind his probing jab and landed some solid right hands.
The Mexican had a good sixth round, cutting Selby over the right eye.
Montiel was forcing Selby onto the back foot in the middle rounds with sustained attacks, but the champion took charge again in the later rounds and started to punish his tiring opponent with stinging shots. Montiel continued to march forward but could not land a big telling shot before the final bell.
“My jab, reach and speed were my biggest advantages tonight,” said Selby. “That was how I got the win.
“All the cuts I’ve had in my career have come against shorter fighters like (Montiel). When I got cut tonight in the sixth round it was the same thing. I caught a head butt.
“I was honestly disappointed in my performance tonight. I got the win and it was a great feeling to get my first one on US soil, but the fans didn’t see me at my best, and a big part of that was Montiel’s experience. He’s a great fighter.”
Also on the card, in a upset, Mexican club fighter Aron Martinez (20-4-1, 4 KOs) defeated former world champion Devon Alexander (26-4, 14 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision.
Alexander started well and was landing the cleaner shots in the early rounds. But as the fight progressed, the American struggled to hold off the more physical Martinez, who piled on the punches late on to win by scores of 96-94, 97-93 and 97-93.