Tomasz Adamek earned a split decision over Steve Cunningham in their IBF heavyweight title eliminator in Pennsylvania to move one fight away from a crack at Wladimir Klitschko.
One judge scored a tactical fight 115-113 in favour of Cunningham but with the other cards going to Adamek 116-112 and 115-12 he was able to celebrate victory.
He told espn.com: "That was like sparring. Not very many punches were thrown. I feel like I can go back into the ring and fight again.
"The fight was close, my trainer told me I had to go after him after the eighth round, and I felt he ran against me. It was part of the plan to come on late in the last 20 seconds of each round. In a few rounds, I tried to attack him, and he would run. He ran. I fought. It's why I won."
The pair were meeting for a second time after Adamek beat his rival in a cruiserweight bout back in 2008 in which Cunningham was on the canvas three times.
Adamek, whose record moves to 48 wins and two defeats, is now scheduled to face Kubrat Pulev with the winner going on to meet Klitschko.
The Pole fought and lost to Klitschko's brother Vitali in 2011 when the WBC title was at stake.