KUGA STOPS WBO#6 ISHIMOTO TO WIN JAPANESE 122LB BELT; HIGA, 12-0, 12 KOs, DECKS TUNE-UP BOUT BEFORE WBC 112LB TITLE SHOT


February 4, 2017

TOKYO, JAPAN

Game and gallant Yusaku Kuga (14-2-1, 10 KOs), 121.75, impressively captured the Japanese 122-pound belt when he swarmed over WBO#6 defending titlist Yasutaka Ishimoto (29-9, 8 KOs), 121.75, from the outset, dropped him with an overhand right and halted him with a towel-tossing from the corner at 2:49 of the second round on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Ishimoto, who once upset Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. on points in Macao in 2013, was a prefight favorite due to his previous hairline decision over Kuga in an elimination bout for the vacant national belt thirteen months ago. Ishimoto, making his third defense, absorbed Kugafs furious opening attack, and hit the deck with an overhand right to the side of the head. It looked like a slip, but the referee Biney Martin took a count and had it go on. The second session witnessed Kuga follow up with a flurry of punches downstairs and upstairs despite the champfs occasional retaliation. As Kuga accelerated his assault, a towel came in fluttering from the champfs corner. It looked like a premature stoppage, but since it was thrown by Ishimotofs chief second, we may have to respect the cornermanfs decision.

Unbeaten hard-puncher, WBC#3 ranked OPBF flyweight champ Daigo Higa (12-0, 12 KOs), 114.75, collected another KO victim by demolishing Filipino Diomel Diocos (9-2-3, 3 KOs), 113.5, at 2:29 of the third round in a scheduled ten. Non-stop punching Higa is gunning for a shot at a winner and new WBC 112-pound champion after a title bout for the vacant throne (renounced by Roman Gonzalez) between Thailandfs WBC#1 Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai and Mexican WBC #2 Juan Hernandez in Thailand on March 4. Higa jubilantly said after the victory, gIfd like to be world champ like my manager Yoko Gushiken when 21 years of age.h Higafs twenty-second birthday will be this coming August 9, before which Gushiken will endeavor to materialize his pupilfs title crack.

(2-4-2017)


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