March 18, 2016
In a battle of former world challengers, IBF#9/WBA#13 Takuya Kogawa (26-4, 13 KOs), 112, kept his national flyweight belt when he energetically displayed whirlwind attacks, maintained the initiative all the way and pounded out a unanimous decision (98-92 twice, 97-93) over ex-light-fly champ Masayuki Kuroda (24-7-3, 14 KOs), 112, over ten fast frames on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. Kogawa, making his second defense in his second reign, proved shaper and swifter than the game but slower Kuroda, who couldnft show his weapon out of his expected arsenal except in round three when he occasionally connected with looping left hooks. Moving to-and-fro and side-to-side, Kogawa completely confused and frustrated the upright stylist, whipping him with light but fast combos from all angles to pile up points steadily. Kuroda, who failed to win the world belt from Juan Carlos Reveco two years ago, attempted a last surge, but it was Kogawa that proved busier and more accurate in mixing it up in the close quarter in the penultimate round. The champ was also in command in the last, effectively lifting sickle-like uppercuts to the willing mixer.
In the semi-windup, former champ Kentaro Masuda (24-7, 13 KOs), 117.5, seized the vacant Japanese bantam belt as he lopsidedly battered previously unbeaten ex-WBC youth champ, WBO#11 Yushi Tanaka (16-1-3, 10 KOs), 117.75, with the refereefs well-timed intervention at 1:40 of the eighth session. Masudafs opening attack was so effective that he continually controlled the contest with a fusillade of punches, while Tanaka was forced to defend himself with a peek-a-boo guard. The ex-karate expert Masudafs acceleration of aggression had Tanaka reeling to the ropes and pinned him there with unanswered combinations, which prompted the reffs logical halt.
Promoter: Reason Promotions.
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