Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur - Moruti Mthalane (36-2, 24 KOs) got off the floor to win a close twelve round unanimous decision over previosuly undefeated Muhammad Waseem (8-1, 6 KOs), who is trained by Jeff Mayweather.
Mthalane captured the vacant IBF flyweight title, with scores of 114-113, 114-113 and 116-110.
Coming into this fight, Mthalane snapped more than a one year layoff by fighting three times in 2017 and won all three by knockout.
And Waseem also had three fights in 2017, and also won all three by knockout.
Mthalana was controlling the contest in the early rounds and outboxing the less experienced Waseem and outworking him. Waseem appeared to be feeling him out in the early going, and giving away some of those rounds as a result.
But in the sixth round, there was a shift where Waseem was throwing more punches and doing more damage as Mthalane was getting caught.
Mthalane was coming back in the seventh and making things very close as he was upping his punch rate.
They were trading punches from the eight to the ninth, and continued to make it a war in the tenth as the punches were flying from both boxers.
Waseem let his hands go more often in eleventh round, taking the fight to the veteran and scored a knockdown in the closing seconds with solid left hand. Mthalane got up just as the round ended.
Waseem came out guns blazing at the start of the twelfth round, throwing and landing a lot of leather. Mthalane weathered the storm and came firing back, and then it was Waseem who shook it off and started trading a lot of punches with the veteran at close range. Mthalane was rocked in the closing seconds and held on until the bell rang.