Johannesburg - Silence Mabuza moved closer to realising his dream of getting another crack at the IBF bantamweight crown when he produced a stellar performance to beat Mexican fighter Ricardo Vargas at Grand Ballroom in New York on Thursday night.
The two fighters were battling for the right to challenge IBF champion Rafael Marquez who had beaten them last year.
The 34-year-old Vargas had lost on points to his compatriot while Mabuza, 28, was stopped in four rounds when he suffered cuts.
While Vargas was expected to give Mabuza all sorts of problems in their elimination clash, it was the South African who totally dominated the proceedings.
Mabuza nearly scored a stoppage when he dropped Vargas with a big right hand in the ninth round.
But the Mexican veteran used his experience to see out the last round.
Despite Vargas's high endurance level he never threatened Mabuza as one of the judges saw the Mexican losing the fight by a whopping 120-107 while two of them scored 117-111 apiece.
Mabuza, who in May last year impressed the Americans with his gusty showing against Marquez when he picked himself from the canvas in the first round to force the champion on the back foot, will get his much-needed rematch against the IBF champion.
Mabuza's promoter Rodney Berman who was at ringside, said he would enter into negotiations with Marquez camp about the rematch.
However, there is a possibility that Marquez might vacate the crown as he is reportedly struggling to make the bantamweight limit.
"We will see what happens next," said Berman.
With the win Mabuza improves his fight record to 19 fights and a loss while Vargas drops to 12 defeats in 54 fights.
On the undercard:
Undefeated super middleweight Curtis Stevens (12-0, 10 KOs) bested Carl Daniels (49-8-1, 31 KOs) by unanimous decision. The scores were 79-71, 79-72, 77-74.
Super middleweight Jerson Ravelo (16-1, 11 KOs) knocked out Donnell Wiggins (24-8-2, 14 KOs) with a round hand bomb in the first round.
Super middleweight James Moore (6-0, 5 KO) knocked out Chuck Orso in the first round.
Super middleweight Juan Cabrera (4-0, 3 KOs) stopped Frank Armstrong in the first round.
Peter Quillin decisioned Tomas Padron in a four round tiff. The scores were 39-37 across the board.