Bernard Hopkins scored a unanimous decision over Winky Wright in Las Vegas on Saturday to retain his fringe IBO light heavyweight title.
Hopkins hails his victory over Wright in Las Vegas
The 42-year-old former undisputed middleweight champion posted scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 117-111 to end Wright's seven-year unbeaten run.
Wright was aggressive behind his southpaw jab but Hopkins was able to pile up the points with his counters.
It means Hopkins stays the universally recognised champion at 170lbs.
Hopkins (48-4-1, 32 KOs) opened a gash over Wright's left eye with a head-butt in the second round, leaving his opponent gesturing angrily.
And it prompted Wright, who has never been knocked out, to abandon his usually defensive style to surprise Hopkins with consistent attacks.
Hopkins landed 152 of his 640 punches while Wright connected with 167 of his 618 blows, leaving him adamant he should have won the contest.
"It was a dirty fight. He was head-butting all day and I thought I won it," Wright protested afterwards.
Hopkins admitted he had been pushed all the way and added: "It was a tough, very close fight.
"Winky is tough, and he kept coming. He knows that I respect him a lot."
The "Executioner", who made a record 21 straight defences of his middleweight title before losing twice to Jermain Taylor, already had his legacy secured before he upset Antonio Tarver when moving up a division last year.
He abandoned his retirement to face Wright and hinted he may extend his career further for more big fights in the future.