Kosei Tanaka won the WBO minimumweight crown on Saturday in his fifth pro fight, defeating Julian Yedras of Mexico by unanimous decision.(more)Kosei Tanaka showed a brilliant performance in the first world title shot in his fifth professional bout, accomplishing Japan's record of winning a world title in the shortest distance of boxing career. In fighting an experienced No. 1 contender in the WBO minimumweight ranking, Tanaka was excellent even in a phone-booth slugging by landing sharp uppercuts, staggering Yedra several times. Yedra was unable to connect strong punches in later rounds since he was damaged by fast and crisp combinatios thrown by Tanaka in early rounds.
Hozumi Hasegawa proved there is still plenty of air left in his tires, outpointing Horacio Garcia in a considerable upset Saturday evening in Kobe, Japan. Not only did Hasegawa pull of the shocker, but did so in surprisingly one-sided fashion. Scores were 100-91, 98-93 and 97-93 in favor of the former two-division titlist. (more)
At the end of last year we saw Ryoichi Taguchi (22-2-1, 9) claim the WBA Light Flyweight title with an excellent win against Alberto Rossel. Today he made the first defense of that title as he took on Thai veteran Kwanthai Sithmoreseng (49-4-1, 26), and recorded an 8th round TKO win in what was a thoroughly dominant display by Taguchi. (more)
Takashi Uchiyama cemented his place atop the 130 lb. division after flattening previously unbeaten Jomthong Chuwatana in two rounds Wednesday evening in Tokyo, Japan. A vicious right hand body shot was enough to put Chuwatana (9-1, 4KOs) down and out, marking the first time he's ever been stopped in any form of ring combat, including his deep career in Muay Thai. Uchiyama knew what he was up against in an iron-chinned challenger who raced to contention. Chuwatana showed heart and guile in outlasting Daiki Kaneko in his 12-round decision win earlier in the year to earn the title shot. (more)
Takashi Uchiyama scored his second consecutive New Year's Eve knockout, this time drilling Costa Rica's Bryan Vasquez in eight rounds Monday evening in Tokyo. The battle proved to be a stiffer test than expected for Uchiyama, regarded by many as the best 130 lb. fighter in the world. The case was made as far back as a year ago, but gained even stronger ground after unbeaten American rising star Adrien Broner abandoned the division earlier in the year. (more)
The first of those world title bouts came at Minimumweight where IBF champion Katsunari Takayama (29-7-0-1, 11) risked his title against upset minded Thai Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (27-4-1, 15). For many Japanese fans Sakkreerin Jr is best remembered for his previous fight in Osaka, when he stopped former WBA Minimumweight champion Ryo Miyazaki in 3 rounds, in what was a late contender for the 2013 upset of the year. He returned to Osaka with the same mindset, believing he could shock the bigger name and win score a major shock.(more)
WBA super-flyweight champ Kohei Kono (30-8-1, 13 KOs), 115, barely kept his throne as he was held to a split draw by Norberto Jimenez (20-8-4, 10 KOs), 114.5, Dominican Republic, over twelve hard-fought rounds on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. Silvestre Abainza saw the sizzling affair 116-111 for Kono, Gustavo Padilla (Panama) had it 115-112 for Jimenez, and Michael Lee (Korea) tallied 114-114. (more)