Tyson Fury moved one step closer to a world heavyweight title shot with a unanimous points victory over Kevin Johnson in Belfast on Saturday night.
The Morecambe-based heavyweight lacked the usual fireworks but comfortably out-pointed the American who has never been stopped in a mature display at the Odyssey Arena.
The victory in this WBC heavyweight title eliminator means Fury, who extended his undefeated record to 20 fights, is now within touching distance of a fight with either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko
The WBO Intercontinental champion started the fight on the front foot, keeping Johnson at bay with his left jab, in a controlled opening couple of rounds.
But it was largely a subdued start to the fight, setting the scene for rest of the contest, with the Atlanta native, a notoriously awkward opponent, prepared to sit in.
Fury did do most of the work however and clocked up the rounds, despite being deducted a point in the seventh for pushing at the break.
He continued his assured display in the eighth showboating after some good combinations, with small sections of the crowd booing what was at times an uneventful contest.
Fury didn't seem flustered by any negative crowd reaction though continuing to go about his work in a mature fashion, showing good hands at times in the closing rounds but the tough Johnson took everything that was thrown at him, even if he offered very little himself.