American Charles Williams retained his IBF light heavyweight title Saturday with an unanimous decision against Zairean-born Italian challenger Mwehu Beya.

Williams, 28, attacked throughout the 12 rounds but could not land the decisive punches as he failed to win by knockout for the first time in seven title fights.Beya, 33, tried to jab to keep Williams away but was often forced to the corner by the champion, who landed his best combinations mostly to the body.

Williams' pace slowed in the final three rounds and the challenger landed some good punches but never appeared a serious threat for the American, whose last defeat came in 1984.

Williams, who won the title won from Bobby Czyz in 1987, was solidly ahead on all three judges' cards.

Williams improved to 30-4-2 as a pro, while Beya is 14-7-4.

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