‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd Mayweather was given a real battle by Victoriano Sosa of the Dominican Republic before retaining his WBC lightweight title in Fresno, California.
The 26-year-old American, thought by many to have the potential to become a modern-day Sugar Ray Leonard, was repeatedly roughed up by the challenger in the early rounds.
Sosa’s forceful attacks and fast hands appeared to stun the champion on several occasions as the former super-featherweight kingpin struggled to find his rhythm.
Mayweather was content to rely on his clever defensive skills and stinging left jabs to keep ahead on the scorecards.
But he did little to justify his superstar billing, or his pay-cheque, as his tactics were greeted by jeers and sneers from some sections of the crowd.
To be fair, Mayweather did not look in danger of losing his 100% record from the fifth round onwards, with eventual scores of 118-110, 119-109 and 118-110 handing him his 30th straight success.
He will have to do more, however, before being ranked among the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet and talk of a mega-bucks showdown with light-middleweight star Oscar de la Hoya looks overly ambitious.