The Juggernaut lumbered on but although Joe Joyce extended the start of his professional career to a 10th straight win he was taken the distance for the first time and given something of a tutorial in the process.
Veteran American Bryant Jennings was never hurt in the 12 heavyweight rounds which preceded the British title fight between Daniel Dubois and Nathan Gorman.
The man from Philadelphia repeatedly interrupted the ponderous bullying from the Londoner with crisp hooks to the head with left and right.
Jennings also caused the only sign of pain with an early left to the ribs of a giant two stones heavier than himself.
That was not enough to produce an upset but it asked questions of Joyce which need answers before there is any further talk of world title challenges. It also made a mockery of the wide margin of victory on two of the judges' cards.
Joyce did not look to be punching his weight and it is alarming to contemplate what damage a real puncher might have inflicted on this open target. Mike Tyson would have nigh-on decapitated him.
Slow to begin with and punching through treacle at the end, Joyce still looked pretty much the amateur who was unlucky to lose the 2016 Olympic final in Rio.
Joyce, at more than two stones the heavier and three inches taller, swarmed out from the first bell but the first visibly hurtful blow was landed by Jennings to the Juggernaut's midriff.
Joyce winced, gasped and momentarily retreated, the American was encouraged to go after him but Joyce came back, probably to edge the round.
Jennings was faster of hand and foot and his quick-fire clusters of punches began to embarrass Joyce.
The pace quickened at the end of third with the pair of them slugging it out in a neutral corner. Joyce came back out for the fourth, pounding away at Jennings but with no sign of damaging effect thus far.
Still finding himself unhurt, Jennings went back to work on the huge target in front of him and this was close.
Even closer as Jennings looked to have won the sixth – and perhaps the seventh.
Joyce was being slowed down even further by his opponent's bodywork and his face was puffing badly as he took a pounding from left and right hooks in the ninth.
The Londoner was also warned for a fourth time for illegal use of his left shoulder.
Ironically, referee Steve Gray deducted a point from Jennings in the tenth for punching low.
That was enough to help Joyce over the line. Scores of 118-109 and 117-110 were hugely over-generous to Joyce.
The official card of 115-112 was more like it.