February 9, 2017
Busy-punching WBC#8 Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1, 8 KOs), 126, kept his OPBF featherweight belt when he floored OPBF#11 Ryuto Araya (11-5-1, 3 KOs), 125.5, twice with the towel fluttering in from the loserfs corner at 1:40 of the fourth round on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan. It was registered as knockout since the JBC regulations rule that a towel-tossing during the refereefs counting causes a knockout, not a TKO. Araya positively started action in the initial round, when Takenaka, however, responded with more accurate combinations to the game challenger. The second saw the pugnacious champ unleash a beautiful left-right combination to the face, badly dropping Araya for the mandatory eight count though he barely regained his feet to resume fighting. Despite the challengerfs occasional retaliation Takenaka accelerated his attack in round four, when he again decked him with a furious combo upstairs and downstairs to prompt his corner throwing in the towel. Takenaka, 31, showed good improvement in his punching angle in his third OPBF defense since dethroning Filipino lefty Vinvin Rufino via fifth-round stoppage last August.
In his third attempt to win the Japanese 140-pound belt, Koichi Aso (21-7-1, 14), 140, finally acquired the vacant throne by halting game but defenseless Kazuki Matsuyama (13-8-1, 7 KOs), 140, with a flurry of punches at 1:35 of the eighth canto. Each kept swapping punches in every round, but Aso had the upper hand on the less skillful opponent due to better precision in punching toe-to-toe in the center of the ring. The fatal session witnessed Asofs right catch up with the fading rival to almost stun him by losing his balance. Then the loserfs corner threw in the towel to save Kazuki from further punishment. The JBC registered it as TKO since he was still on the feet upon the towel-tossing. Aso expressed his greatest joy to have acquired the belt for the first time. Third timefs a charm.
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