Ryan Garcia marked his return to the boxing ring with a near-shutout on the cards against Emmanuel Tagoe.
The American lightweight sensation last fought in January 2021, knocking out Britain’s Luke Campbell in seven rounds.
But a battle with his mental health and injuries saw him sidelined for 15 months until he finally marked his comeback.
And he did so against stubborn Ghanaian Tagoe, who looked to survive the fight over the 12-round distance.
But it saw Garcia, who scored a knockdown in round two, emerge victorious unanimously on the cards.
He said: “I got nothing but respect for Tagoe, he fought a hard fight.
“I think if I would have started pressing him harder in the beginning of the fight, I would’ve got him out of there.
“But what can I say? I had to track him down, it was a new experience cutting the ring off with a guy who was in a fight to survive.”
Garcia, 23, made a sharp start to the fight after a right hand bundled Tagoe, 33, to the floor.
But he failed to follow it up and force a stoppage in a sign of things to come later on.
Garcia would go on to control the fight throughout the rest of the rounds, throwing heavy left hooks and right hands.
But Tagoe was keen to grab, hold and move as he evaded engaging in a firefight.
It saw Garcia repeatedly back up Tagoe but fail to land a decisive blow despite threatening a few times.
As the fight went to the cards, it saw the lightweight contender win wide on and secure his first win with new trainer Joe Goosen.
Veteran Goosen was brought in to replace Canelo Alvarez’s esteemed coach Eddy Reynoso.