silence at crossroad

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

It will be show time for South Africa' s most charismatic fighter, Silence "African Spice" Mabuza, in a career-defining fight at Springs Indoor Arena on May 29.

This dexterous fighter will host Colombian Yonnhy Perez for the IBF world bantamweight title eliminator.

Mabuza, 31, from Tsakane in Ekurhuleni whose great skills are perfected by esteemed mentor Nick Durandt, is rated third while Perez is sixth.

The winner will challenge champion Joseph Agbeko, the Ghanaian who is based in the US.

Mabuza is the former IBO champion. He won the title in 2002, defended it six times and forfeited in 2005 after being defeated for the IBF strap by Rafael Marquez.

But Mabuza reclaimed it in 2007, defended twice on stoppages before being stripped late last year because of a lack of action.

Defeat against Perez, 30, will be detrimental to Mabuza's career. He will have to start all over again, challenge for the national title and be paid peanuts.

He turned professional in 1999 and he still has to lose a fight in the local ring after chalking up 17 wins here while five of his other victories were abroad.

He has 22 wins (18 KOs) against two defeats, which were both meted by Marquez.

Mabuza will enjoy territorial advantage against Perez but this will be a humdinger of a fight. Perez is undefeated after 18 wins (13 KOs).

This will be Mabuza' s first fight under Branco Milenkovic. He had been a Golden Gloves fighter throughout his fruitful career. They parted ways last year.

Milenkovic explained that a wonderful history at Springs Indoor Arena made him go back there.

"I staged wrestling there, and the response from the public was superb. I will be glad if I can get half of that crowd," he said adding that the almost 4000 capacity arena should sold out.

"That is Mabuza's home town. I have delivered the promise I made to Silence when he joined me that his fight will be inside South Africa."

He said tickets will sell at R100 (ringside) and R50 (unreserved).