David Allen declared his war with Ariel Esteban Bracamonte as a wake-up call that he needs to take boxing more seriously.
Every fibre of the Conisbrough heavyweight’s renowned toughness was called upon for him to survive the pressure an exceptionally game Bracamonte brought to the contest at Manchester Arena on Saturday night.
But as the fight wore on, he looked the more dangerous man with huge, raking shots and Argentine fighter Bracamonte was pulled out by his corner after the seventh of a scheduled ten rounds.
It took Allen to three successive wins and continued the momentum which began with his knockout of Nick Webb in the summer and is set to take him towards a title fight.
But his performance on Saturday night showed he still has much improvement to undergo when he steps between the ropes if he is to succeed in future championship opportunities.
Bemoaning his lack of fitness, Allen himself at least recognises where the improvement needs to come the most.
But he must also work on the defensive side of his boxing and not simply take for granted that it seems opponents needs to bring a sledgehammer if they want to shift him.
"When you're blessed with the power that I have got, what I'm doing is scandalous,” Allen told Sky Sports afterwards.
"I need to take a good look at myself."
Bracamonte was the ideal test of Allen’s toughness but also his stomach for the nitty gritty of the fight game.
How he responds in his next outing, due next month, and the work be does in the meantime, will be very telling indeed.
Allen’s bout took place on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s defeat to undisputed cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk.
Former world champion Bellew – trained in Rotherham by Dave Coldwell – confirmed his intention to retire following his eighth round stoppage loss.