Tomasz Adamek survived cuts in the corner of both his eyes and a few wobbly moments to outbox and outwork Michael Grant to a unanimous decision in Newark, N.J., on Saturday.
The 12-round bout, which took place before more than 10,000 at the Prudential Center, headlined a small pay-per-view broadcast.
Adamek (42-1, 27 knockouts), who won by scores of 118-111, 118-110 and 117-111, consistently beat the 6-foot-7 former contender to the punch but he occasionally lunged into right hands, which made the otherwise one-sided contest interesting in spots.
Grant (46-4, 34 KOs) fought tentatively for five rounds as he was out-jabbed, out-maneuvered and nailed by clean right hands and hooks from the smaller man. However, a short right wobbled Adamek at the end of the sixth round, which spurred on the 38-year-old former title challenger to fight with more confidence in the late rounds of the bout.
Adamek, who gave up 10 inches in reach and 44 pounds to Grant, regained control of the bout in rounds 10 and 11, but was again rocked by a right hand in the final round of the bout.
On the undercard, junior middleweight fringe contender Joel Julio out-hustled and out-pointed tough Jamaal Davis in a brisk 10 rounder.
Julio (36-4, 31 KOs), who had lost three of his last four bouts, won by scores of 97-93, 98-92 and 99-93. Davis (12-7, 6 KOs) came to fight and was able to trouble Julio with quick, crisp punching in the early rounds of the bout, but the heavy handed Colombian took over the bout by stepping up his aggression in the fourth round.
Julio hammered Davis with uppercuts and hooks over the second half the bout, often putting the Philadelphian on the defensive early in the rounds, however the rugged journeyman hung tough and held his form to last the distance.
Welterweight prospect Sadam Ali stopped Lenin Arroyo with a perfectly placed left hook to the liver in the fifth round of their scheduled eight-round bout.
Ali (9-0, 5 KOs), a smooth-boxing former New York City amateur star, out-classed Arroyo (20-13-1, 4 KOs) from the opening round, maneuvering around the journeyman and beating him to the punch until his hook ended matters.
A full ringside report will be filed by Joe Santoliquito