Jason Sosa capitalized on a slow start by challenger Stephen Smith to retain his WBA super-featherweight title for the first time in Monaco.
The American showed a granite chin throughout the fight and inflicted his own damage on Smith after an early knockdown took the pressure off.
A cut opened up on Smith’s right eye threatened to end the contest in the first four rounds and led to the Briton going for broke against a solid champion in Sosa.
In the end, judges carded 117-110, 116-111 and 116-112, a couple maybe a little harshly in favour of Sosa, who proved his victory over Javier Fortuna was no fluke.
Earlier, heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz failed to impress on his debut under the Matchroom banner.
The 37 year-old, who brought an undefeated and fearful record to the table, just wouldn’t let his hands go, allowing a petrified Malik Scott to go the full twelve rounds.
A dire contest that didn’t produce any sustained attacks saw Ortiz drop Scott on more than one occasion on his way to a wide points win that didn’t live up to expectations.
In the end, judges carded scores of 120-105, 120-106 and 119-106 for the former interim heavyweight champion, who moves on to a spot on the Anthony Joshua undercard in December.
It may not be as tough for Hearn to match ‘King Kong’ on Saturday night’s evidence as Ortiz attempts to build towards a possible shot at Joshua in the future.
For Scott, who has lost to Deontay Wilder in one and Dereck Chisora in six, the reverse marks a career-best result which really says it all about the win for Ortiz.
After the fight, Hearn admitted Scott was just trying to survive and promised a better performance from Ortiz when someone comes to fight him.
In other bouts, Jamie McDonnell struggled to get past Liborio Solis in a fight he should have lost, whilst Martin Murray laboured against late replacement Nuhu Lawal in what was a poor beginning to Hearn’s first show in Monte Carlo.