Cameron Vuong was given the toughest test of his young career by late substitute Jeff Ofori on Saturday at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham, England, but he emerged with his unbeaten record intact and 10 invaluable rounds under his belt.

Ofori (13-8-2, 4 KOs) is the type of fighter who is more than capable of turning over an underprepared or overconfident prospect. And having spent months and months talking about a fight with Jordan Flynn, Vuong (5-0, 3 KOs) easily could have taken his eye off the ball when Flynn was forced to withdraw because of a knee injury.

The 20-year-old lightweight Vuong dispelled that possibility quickly, moving sharply around the ring and popping out his jab.

Undeterred, Ofori pressed forward in his usual, unhurried way and was happy to take whichever slight openings he was presented with, but his moments of encouragement were few and far between. 

The pattern of the fight was firmly established by the third. Vuong edged backwards, used the perimeter of the ring and aimed to walk Ofori onto sharp shots – particularly his right uppercut. Ofori, his nose pouring blood, did land three good right hands as Vuong backed to the ropes and lost his concentration, but Vuong was starting to time Ofori with a quick lead left hook.

The middle rounds followed a set pattern. Although he was primarily on the back foot, Vuong had the fight well in hand. Still, he would regularly and needlessly drift back into the ropes, where Ofori would take advantage and land solid right hands. There were flashes of excellent punch picking – but also the top of mistakes that should be expected of a fighter taking part in only their fifth professional outing.

Ofori went for broke in the ninth, walking forward relentlessly and catching Vuong with both hands as the younger man visibly tired. Vuong was never badly hurt, but he was taking flush punches and took a deep breath as he sat down on his stool.

Vuong got through the 10th as Ofori continued to press forward, but he will have clearly learned a great deal from the experience. 

The scorecards – 98-92, 98-92 and 99-91 – were all wide in Vuong’s favor, but they didn’t reflect Ofori’s effort over the final rounds.