Vusi Malinga beat Michael Domingo on a unanimous points decision in an eliminator to challenge for the IBF bantamweight title in Mafikeng on Saturday night.
Judge Miroslav Brazio (Poland) scored it 117-111 and Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen and Neville Hotz, both from South Africa, had it 115-113 for the South African.
The southpaw Malinga (53.08 kg), rated No 9 by the IBF, made a slow start to the bout at the Mafikeng University Hall and gave away the first three rounds before picking up the pace in the fourth.
He went on to take rounds five and six and then punished the Filipino in the seventh and eighth.
Domingo (53.30kg) who bled from a cut on the bridge of his nose, changed tactics in the ninth round and began to box off the back foot, possibly winning the round and also the tenth.
However, he seemed tired in the last two rounds and received several warnings from referee Larry Doggett (US). He was fortunate not to have a point deducted.
Malinga improved his record to 20-3-1, with 12 knockouts, and Domingo dropped to 46-15-2; 18.
In a junior middleweight contest Phillip Ndou (69 kg), fighting at his heaviest weight yet, was rather sluggish before stopping comparative novice Bhekimpilo Mlilo (69.94 kg) from Zimbabwe one minute into the fourth round of a bout scheduled for eight.
Ndou now has a record of 33-4; 32 and Mlilo’s reported record goes to 5,5.
Former IBO bantamweight champion Silence Mabuza (54.36 kg), fighting at junior featherweight, scored an easy third-round technical knockout over Lwazi Mzolisa (54.08 kg) in a scheduled eight-rounder. The fight was stopped at 2:57.
Other results: Welterweight: Isaac Hlatshwayo beat Nkululeko Mhlongo, pts 8.
Junior featherweight: Jeffrey Mathebula beat Siviwe Hasheni, tko 2.-Story by SuperSport.com