Anthony Joshua got there in the end against Carlos Takam, but it wasn't his best performance by a long way.
The IBO, IBF and WBA champion laboured to a tenth round stoppage over his Cameroonian-born French adversary, a stoppage which plenty of fans felt came too soon.
In other eyes, it may have came too late. After all, Takam had a serious cut opened up over his right eye in just the fourth round and he was clearly struggling to see for the duration of the fight.
But, that didn't deter him. The 36-year-old went on to put in one of the bravest performances in recent memory as he battled with two cut eyes to give Joshua one of his toughest tests to date.
In fairness to Joshua, he had been training for the challenge of the vastly bigger Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev until just 12 days ago.
Still, the Watford-born fighter didn't quite look his explosive best and much of that has to go down to Takam's willingness to exchange with the 28-year-old and his refusal to roll over in the same vein the likes of Charles Martin and Dominick Breazeale did.
Or, was it to do with his nose?
In the second round, a stray headbutt from Takam appeared to break Joshua's nose and while the incident seemed innocuous, AJ was still bleeding profusely. Take a look for yourself:
After the bout, Joshua seemed to accept that it was an accident but it certainly fired him up to throw some big shots Takam's way in the rounds that followed.
When asked if his nose was broken after the victory, Joshua told Sky Sports: "It feels it! (broken).
"He's like Holyfield coming under and up. This is championship fighting. I had to keep my cool in there.
"You have to control these situations, if I show any signs of weakness the referee could jump in."
Joshua rolls on after collecting his 20th victory and his pristine record remains.
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