NKOSINATHI Joyi justified his number three rating by the IBF with a marvelous display of boxing, dazzling Filipino Florant Condes.
They fought for the IBF's number one rating in the mini flyweight division on Friday night.
The IBF is one of the world's three most respected boxing bodies - the others being the WBC and WBA.
Joyi, 26, had been an International Boxing Organisation mini flyweight champion. The IBF and IBO do not unify, so his top five IBF rating raised eyebrows.
Joyi defended the IBO belt three times but lost it in the boardroom last Thursday. The IBO stripped him because of his involvement in an IBF-sanctioned fight with Condes.
Joyi was a marvel to watch on Friday night. Judges Wally Snowball and Deon Dwarte were so impressed they both scored the fight 120-107, while Isaac Tshabalala's card read 119-108.
Joyi didn't put a foot wrong from start to finish, tightening his grip from round six. It was his 20th win.
His fight with Condes topped the Branco Sports Production bill that drew an unimpressive crowd to East London's Orient Theatre.
Part of that may be down to the use of Computicket to sell tickets. Fight fans from that part of the country are not use to that arrangement.
But those who ignored the chilly weather had a ball.
Joyi's promoter Branco Milenkovic said his Mdantsane charge's next assignment will be for the IBF title held by Raul Garcia early next year.
The Mexican won it from Condes on June 14 last year and has defended successfully three times.
Other results: Flyweight - Mzivukile Dinga beat Liviwe Gadini (TKO 1); mini fly (6 rds) - Toto Twani bt Lutho Nkonki (points); junior fly -: Madisi Mkile bt Luyanda Madolo (TKO 6); Junior welter - Sikhulule Sidzumo bt Mzwanele Makhiwane (TKO 3).