Tyson Fury took his unbeaten record to 20 fights with a unanimous points victory over American Kevin Johnson in Belfast.
The first five rounds of this WBC world heavyweight title eliminator were short on action, although Fury was rarely troubled by his durable 33-year-old opponent, who had lost just twice before.
Fury looked more convincing in the sixth round but he had a point docked in the seventh and was not making a notable impact on a slow-paced bout.
He made more of an impression with a combination in the eighth which saw the Wythenshawe-born fighter raise both arms aloft.
Although he was rarely troubled in the contest, Fury's cautious approach was in stark contrast to several of his previous bouts.
Afterwards, Fury revealed the tactics were planned as he told Channel 5: "Credit Kevin Johnson, he's a slippery, slippery guy and I never went in to knock him out.
"He's not a guy to go and smash up. He's a world class fighter. I boxed to a game plan and vowed not to let my heart get the better of me."