HATFIELD bantamweight Jamie McDonnell emerged from a routine defence of his Commonwealth crown relatively unscathed after comfortably out-pointing Kenyan fighter Nick Otieno.
Two of the three judges at Hillsborough Leisure Centre in Sheffield awarded all 12 rounds to the 25-year-old who rarely appeared to move out of second gear.
The performance lacked the thrill of McDonnell’s European title defence against Stephane Jamoye earlier this year.
But also absent was the intensity and pressure on McDonnell to produce something special as he did against the Belgian, with Nairobi native Otieno providing very little threat.
There was however a great deal of risk in the bout as he faced being stripped of the more prestigious European title if he suffered defeat.
That never looked likely and now McDonnell will go on to make a defence of his European strap, probably against British champion Stuey Hall in the autumn.
Otieno did make a strong start to the bout and the first was one of a few early rounds that were difficult to call.
McDonnell was caught with several shots, but this has been a regular factor throughout his career and he never came close to being rocked in the manner he was against the impressive Jamoye in January.
A brilliant performance in the fifth round changed the pattern of the fight with McDonnell surging ahead.
He produced several superb combinations which demonstrated how lethally accurate he can be at times.
Otieno showed why he has never been stopped in 28 fights by holding on, but the fight began to move beyond him.
McDonnell was in command for the remainder and asserted his dominance over the last three or four rounds.
The game plan had been to hit and move, and after establishing a comfortable lead by carrying out the instructions to the letter, he began to follow up the jab.
Strong rights, left hooks and the trademark body shots became more common - particularly in the tenth round - and Otieno looked increasingly out of depth in the face of the heavy assaults.
But McDonnell did not pursue the knock out, wisely continuing with the tactics that were providing him with a comfortable margin.
McDonnell took two 120-108 verdicts and one, probably more realistic, 118-111 from the judges to secure a 17th career win from 20 fights.
His twin brother Gavin was set to meet fellow Doncaster fighter Andy Roberts but a dispute over weights led to the bout being scratched off.