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Boxing Action in Asia: Ito, Inoue, and Nietes Win

By: Michael Kane

Floyd Mayweather wasn’t the only ‘Boxing’ bout that took place in Japan this weekend. Sunday 30th would see a first title defence of Masayuki Ito’s WBO Junior Lightweight title at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo.

Ito faced his mandatory challenger, Evgeny Chuprakov (20-1, 10 Kos), however the 28 year old Russian proved to be no match for Ito, who won via a 7th round knockout in a fairly one sided bout.

Despite suffering a second round cut, from an accidental clash of heads, Ito dominated the fight, landing at will against a reckless Chuprakov. The Russian stood in front of Ito, trying to land wild shots and was an easy target for Ito.

The fight culminated in the 7th, when Ito landed several hard shots which knocked out the Russians gumshield, as the ref called a timeout to replace it Chuprakov’s corner threw the towel in.

The 27 year old Ito (27-1-1. 13 KOs) is tipped to return to the United States next year, having claimed the vacant belt when he defeated Christopher Diaz in July.

Also on the card was Takuma Inoue who won the vacant WBC interim Bantamweight World Title when he defeated Petch CP Freshmart by unanimous decision, all three judges scored it 117-111.

25 year old Freshmart (48-1,33 KOs) was fighting outside of Thailand for the first time and came up short against 23 year old Inoue (13-0, 3 KOs) who was a step up in class to Freshmart.

Inoue now becomes the mandatory challenger for the winner of the vacant title between Rau’shee Warren and Nordine Oubaali, who meet on January 19th on the undercard of the Pacquiao and Broner fight.

The third world title on the card would see Ken Shiro (15-0, 8 Kos) successfully defend his WBC junior Flyweight title against Mexican Saul ‘Baby’ Juarez (24-9-2, 13 KOs). This was another one sided bout for the Japanese crowd to enjoy, Shiro was quicker throughout and scores of 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109 reflect his dominance.

Moving across the sea to Macau and another triple header of world title bouts that took place today, Monday 31st.

First up was Filipino Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KOs) joining compatriots Nonito Donaire and Manny Pacquiao as a four weight world champion after winning against Kazuto Ioka (23-2, 13 KOs). This was a split decision win for the 36 year old Nietes, who becomes a world champion again ten years after his first title win. The general consensus is that Ioka was robbed as most viewers had him winning, myself included. The judges however scored it 116-112 for Ioka, 116-112 and 118-110 for Nietes. Nietes won the WBO World Super Flyweight title.

Hiroto Kyoguchi (12-0, 9 KOs) can now add a second weight class to his resume as a champion, the former minimum weight champion, won the WBA Super Light Flyweight title forcing the champion Hekkie Budler’s (32-4, 10 KOs) corner to stop the fight in the 10th round. Kyoguchi worked the body throughout which eventually took its toll on the South African.

The final world title bout saw an easy defence for IBF Flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane (37-2, 25 KOs) who was too experienced and too strong for his Japanese opponent Mashiro Sakamoto (13-2, 9 KOs). The fight ended after Sakamoto suffered a swollen eye after the 10th round.

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