Lawrence Okolie was supported by fighting royalty ahead of his world title clash with Michal Cieslak as Anthony Joshua and Israel Adesanya walked him to the ring.
Okolie went on to make a successful second defence of his cruiserweight belt, outpointing the Pole in decisive fashion.
And he was flanked by former heavyweight world champion Joshua and by UFC middleweight champion Adesanya at The O2 arena.
Joshua, who is preparing for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, and Adesanya, who outpointed Robert Whittaker earlier this month, share a Nigerian heritage with Okolie.
Cieslak was roared on by a passionate Polish support in London but Okolie landed a huge right hand inside 90 seconds.
HIs challenger clung on for dear life to avoid slipping to the canvas and was able to survive to hear the bell.
Okolie controlled the second round but was at times guilty of lunging in as Cieslak attempted to smother the champion’s attacks.
Cieslak landed his best shot to date when a left hook caught Okolie on the chin at the start of the third period.
The challenger had weathered the early storm and had succeeded in frustrating the home favourite.
But Okolie waited patiently for his opening and found the target with an overhand right in the fifth round forcing Cieslak to the canvas.
Okolie sensed victory over the bloodied visitor but Cieslak battled on to the midway point of the contest.
The challenger was proving nothing if not determined as he dragged Okolie into a dog-fight – and both men were spoken to by the referee as he implored them to fight cleanly.
Cieslak had lost just once prior to Sunday night and became just the third man to take Okolie past the seventh round.
Okolie found the target with his right hand in the ninth round but shipped a left hook in the dying seconds of the session.
Cieslak took another heavy right hand in the 10th round – and again in the penultimate stanza.
Okolie was determined to finish the fight in the final three minutes but Cieslak survived to hear the final bell.
It was left to the judges to award the champion victory by comfortable scores of 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112.