Fighting in his native Armenia for the first time in his pro career, bantamweight Vic Darchinyan kept hold of his IBO title against the challenge posed by South African super flyweight Evans Mbamba in an all-southpaw battle.
In front of a sold old Karen Demirchyan Sports Complex in Yerevan, Darchinyan swept the judges' scorecards after 12 rounds of brawling with the African import.
Making his debut at 118 pounds, Mbamba, who had previously held the WBC International super fly bauble and unsuccessfully challenged for the Interim WBC super fly crown, was at a strength disadvantage against the taller Darchinyan, who maximized his edge by employing his trademark roughhouse tactics.
Mbamba was the quicker fighter however, and while he did well whenever the action took place in the center ring, he wasn't busy enough as the constant wrestling and entanglements with Darchinyan sapped the South African's stamina.
This led to Mbamba lying on the ropes behind a high guard, where his chin proved capable of taking the many bombs Darchinyan landed.
Darchinyan effectively went to the body when Mbamba covered up and this allowed the challenger to land quick counters, although the punches lacked the power to bother Darchinyan.
The bout was a messy, prolonged affair, highlighted only by Mbamba hitting the deck in the first round, with Darchinyan winning rounds by being the much busier fighter.
Darchinyan swept the cards 120-107, 120-107 and 119-107 to improve to 37-3-1 (27), while Mbamba falls to 18-2 (9).