ROSALES HALTS HIGA, WINS WBC 112LB BELT


April 15, 2018

TOKYO, JAPAN

Elongated Nicaraguan #2 Cristofer Rosales (27-3, 18 KOs), 111.5, impressively acquired the WBC flyweight belt as he aggressively battered former titlist Daigo Higa (15-1, 15 KOs), 114, with sickle-like uppercuts and Higafs corner finally signaled a surrender at 1:14 of the ninth round on Sunday in Yokohama, Japan. From the outset the taller Nicaraguan took the leadoff with solid left uppercuts following left-right combos and hurt the ex-champ who had forfeited his belt on the scale?from all angles. Higa exclusively fought back with body shots, but Rosales looked more effective in the close quarter. After the fourth, the open scoring system indicated 39-37 twice for Rosales, 39-37 for Higa.

The fifth and sixth saw Cristofer, a year his senior at 23, connect with left and right uppercuts to the face and midsection to weaken the still game but fading ex-champ. Higa, however, furiously attempted to retaliate with two-fisted attacks to the breadbasket in rounds seven and eight, while Rosales fought back hard without retreating in the center of the ring. After the eighth, the interim tallies were as follows: 77-75, 79-73 for Rosales, 76-76.

In the ninth and fatal session Rosales had him at bay with solid and effective combinations that had Higa retreating. Then Higafs corner finally made up its mind and asked the third man to halt the proceedings. The Nicaraguan new titlist looked like a Flaco Explosivo (explosive thin man) such as the late Alexis Arguello, his countryfs great idol.

The victor smilingly said, gI didnft feel Higafs power, though highly publicized. Ifm happy to bring back the belt.h The crestfallen loser looked very much dejected and said, gI apologize for my failure to make the weight to Rosales, boxing fans and supporters. Ifm ashamed of my serious mistake as professional boxer.h

Higa's manager and ex-WBA 108-pound champ Yoko Gushiken very gloomily said, gThis defeat was caused by a rather short interval from his last fight, only two months plus. The younger generation might need more time to reduce and make the weight than my generation. I donft know at this moment whether Higa will move up to the higher division or not.h The bruised ex-champ was hospitalized for medical checkup, and will stay there for some days for further examination.

Daigo is the very first Japanese contestant in great many world title bouts here that committed overweight in the official weigh-in. The Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) may announce its punishment to Higa and his handler Gushiken within days.

Higa and Gushiken had been supposed to attend the ceremony for the Distinguished Okinawan Award in Okinawa Prefecture two days after the title bout, but they withdrew receiving such awards after this defeat. Also, it was Daigo that failed to renew the Japanese record of most consecutive knockouts, stopping at fifteen. Furthermore, his unbeaten record was blemished with his career-first defeat. You say winner take all, but the loser lost all.

Promoter: Teiken Promotions.

(4-15-2018)


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