James DeGale beat Lucien Bute on points in Quebec in the first defence of his IBF super-middleweight title.
The Harlesden man made a fine start but was eventually made to work harder by the Romanian-born Canadian.
DeGale suffered a nasty cut above his left eye after an accidental clash of heads in the fifth round and former world champion Bute had more success in the later rounds.
But DeGale did enough to win a unanimous points decision, with the judges scoring it 116-112, 117-111, 117-111 in his favour.
He is now targeting a unification clash with WBC champion Badou Jack, who in September beat DeGale’s arch-rival and fellow West Londoner George Groves.