SYDNEY - Australia's former IBF featherweight boxing champion Billy Dib overcame early adversity to score a majority points win over American Mike Oliver and stay on track for a world title rematch.
Dib was deducted a point in both the second and third rounds for low blows in the bout in Hartford, Connecticut.
The cut-prone Sydneysider was marked around his left eye in the fourth round, though it wasn't a factor in the fight.
Dib, who is seeking a rematch with Russian Evgeny Gradovich, who took away his title earlier in the year, dominated the middle and most of the latter rounds.
Two judges scored the fight 96-94 to Dib while the third had it 94-94.
It wasn't the dominating performance and knockout Dib was looking for, but he pushed the pace throughout the fight, and frequently forced Hartford local Oliver into the ropes.
While he was the aggressor, Dib was caught by several right hand counter punches.
Dib concentrated in the early rounds on tagging Oliver with big right hands and body blows.
He enjoyed more success when he started to use the jab more from the fourth.
Referee Michael Ortega warned Dib after the second point deduction he would be disqualified if he threw another low blow.
From then on, Dib concentrated primarily on head shots and outworked the American.