Giovani Santillan survived the toughest test of his career in a fight where the final scores didn’t come close to reflecting the action in the ring.

San Diego’s own Santillan emerged victorious in a ten-round, unanimous decision win over Mexico’s Julio Luna.

Judge Robert Hoyle (96-94) saw the bout for the close, competitive affair that took place in ESPN’s televised co-feature. The shutout cards turned in by Rudy Barragan (100-90) and Alejandro Rochin (100-90) suggested Santillan had help all along in the battle of unbeaten welterweights Saturday evening at Pechanga Arena in San Diego.

Luna didn’t show any concern for fighting in his opponent’s hometown or in his first fight in the U.S. The unbeaten welterweight from Durango, Mexico put his height and reach advantage to good use, constantly shoving his jab in Santillan’s face. Santillan—fighting at this venue for the second time in ten months—continued to come forward despite the development, determined to force an inside fight. The approach came a cost. Santillan left himself open for a jaw-rattling uppercut at close quarters, tying up Luna to prevent additional damage in a high-volume fourth round for the visiting Mexican.

Santillan managed to drive Luna into the ropes in round five, though unable to capitalize as his punch output began to decrease. Luna quickly moved out of harm’s way, using lateral movement to disrupt Santillan’s rhythm. The jab continued to set up right hands for Luna, while Santillan was unable to provide anything of substance to slow down his fleet-footed opponent for much of round six.

A clash of heads left Santillan with a bad cut over the right eyelid late in round seven. It was a good round to that point for the San Diego native, who was able to keep Luna within his desired punching range. Luna was game for the cause, trading with Santillan in the closing seconds of frame before raising his arm to salute the partisan crowd.

Luna targeted Santillan’s cut, shooting his jab at the wound early and often in round eight. Santillan did his best to guard against the attack, initiating a firefight at close quarters as he targeted Luna’s body. Luna was able to offset the damage with an uppercut, his money punch throughout the fight and effective again just as Santillan threatened to enjoy a momentum shift.

Santillan boxed well down the stretch, a tactic that slowed down the steady attack of Luna in the final two rounds. The adjustment allowed the local southpaw to prevent his cut from getting any worse, mindful that he needed to close strong. Luna was left to reach with his punches, with Santillan playing defense before working his way inside in the final minute. Luna managed one last body shot to fend off the onrushing Santillan in the closing seconds of the bout.

Santillan advances to 30-0 (16KOs) with the win, his second of the year. Luna suffers his first career defeat, falling to 19-1-1 (10KOs).

Headlining the show, WBO featherweight titlist Emanuel Navarrete (35-1, 29KOs) attempts his third title defense as he faces first-time title challenger Eduardo Baez (21-2-2, 7KOs).

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox