Kubrat Pulev took full advantage of a bad cut opening up on Hughie Fury to claim victory in Sofia.
To the delight of the Armeec Arena crowd, the 37 year-old used all his experience to frustrate Fury for the duration.
Fury, 24, suffered a terrible cut in the second, a reoccurrence of a sparring injury in the build-up.
The gash looked shocking initially as Fury’s eyelid hung down, although his corner controlled it well.
Sensing he may be stopped early by the doctor, Fury came out all guns blazing in the third but may have blown himself out following four rounds.
Apart from the eight when a decent shot rocked Pulev, the Bulgarian took every round from the fifth onwards.
In the end, judges carded in favor of Pulev 118-110, 117-111 and 115-113, with the final tally something of a joke.
Pulev now moves on to a fight with Anthony Joshua as the IBF mandatory challenger.
Whether that fight happens in April or later in the year is now up to Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn.
Joshua is currently being linked to a rematch with Dillian Whyte, although a potential WBA ‘regular’ title shot against Jarrell Miller may change those plans.
The WBA is rumored to be considering ranking Miller against Whyte following a positive drugs test by Manuel Charr last month.
Charr was due to fight Fres Oquendo, who is due to get a shot as ordered by a legal battle.
As things stand, more will become clear in the next seven days. Miller has also been mentioned alongside Bogdan Dinu.
In the co-feature, the younger brother of headliner Kubrat, cruiserweight Tervel Pulev took out Leonardo Bruzzese in just two rounds.
Pulev claimed the EU title at 200 pounds with a crushing performance. Pulev, 35, is now 12-0 as a pro.
Briton Savannah Marshall had way too much in her locker as she defeated Yanina Orozco.
The 27 year-old from Hartlepool was dominant is taking a points victory. Marshall pushed her record to 4-0.
In the process, the former amateur star claimed a fringe version of the WBA title.