El Paso: Unbeaten Carl Frampton shook off two first-round knockdowns to retain his International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight world title with a unanimous decision over Alejandro Gonzalez jnr in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday.
Northern Ireland`s Frampton, fighting in the United States for the first time, improved to 21-0 with 14 knockouts.
Two judges scored the bout 116-108 for Frampton, while the third saw it 115-109.
But it wasn`t exactly the blockbuster performance he had hoped for in his American debut.
"It was exciting," Frampton said a little ruefully after going down just 30 seconds into the first round.
His glove hit the canvas even as he appeared relatively unhurt by a left from Gonzalez that caught him off-guard.
An overhand right from the Mexican challenger did more damage, sending Frampton to his knees late in the round.
"I need to give Alejandro Gonzalez so much credit," Frampton said. "When you look at him he doesn`t look like a big puncher, but man he can punch. A warrior."
Nevertheless, Frampton was in control most of the way, dictating the tempo with his jab and landing clean blows to the body and head.
Gonzalez, who fell to 25-2-2 with 15 knockouts was docked points for low blows in rounds three and 11.
Across the Atlantic, Frampton rival Scott Quigg did his part to pave the way for a showdown between the two with a second-round stoppage of Spain`s Kiko Martinez.
With the win in Manchester, Quigg retained his World Boxing Association "regular" super-bantamweight belt.
Frampton, however, hinted in Texas that his days in the division may be numbered.
"I took a little too much weight off the last two days," Frampton said. "We need to decide where we go from here."