UNBEATEN NAGO WINS JAPANESE JR. BANTAM TITLE BY SPECTACULAR KO OVER MATSUKURA; MAR. 9, 1998
by Joe Koizumi
TOKYO--Korakuen Hall--A sensational encounter materialized! Unbeaten ex-All Japan high school champ AKIHIKO NAGO, 115, dropped defending champ YOSHIAKI MATSUKURA, 115, 3 times in the first 2 rounds, displayed his fine outboxing and finally flattened him with a beautiful countering left at 2:58 of the 9th round in a scheduled 10.
It was a battle of hard-hitting lefties. Matsukura had registered 11 consecutive KO victories, while Nago had iced 8 victims in 10 pro outings. The champ Matsukura, last Oct., acquired the vacant national throne on a 7th-round come-from-behind KO over Akira Taiga, who unfortunately passed away thereafter.
We didn't expect it to be such a lopsided affair, as it was thought as a competitive fight. Nago, however, dropped the champ with an opening right hook. Nago's southpaw right hook was remarkably powerful and effective. He had Matsukura on the deck with a same right hook twice in the 2nd with the bell coming to his rescue (actually, after the referee, Uratani, finished his second counting of the mandatory 8 and ordered them to resume fighting, then the bell sounded, so the bell didn't save the champ).
Nago almost perfectly averted Matsukura's vaunted solid shots by making the best use of his superior footwork. Nago piled up points steadily at ease. The 9th witnessed one of the most beautiful countering shots ever seen recently at this Hall. When Matsukura was about to throw a strong left, Nago exploded a very well-timed left counter to the buttom of the champ, who fell flat. This victory showed Nago's vast talent. Nago, 11-0, 9 KOs, is piloted by ex-WBA jr. fly champ Yoko Gushiken, and thus has become one of the brightest prospects. Matsukura, who showed his gameness and kept coming foward against the Fancy Dan, fell to 17-3, 15 KOs.
Lefty Ryoji Tezuka, 142 1/4, battered the JBC #9 ranked jr. welter contender Hideyuki Furuhashi, 142 3/4, to the punch so lopsidedly that the referee intervened to save the latter from further punishment despite no knockdown scored then at 0:50 of the 4th in a scheduled 8. The jubilant victor, who will enter the Japanese top ten, is 7-1-3, 3 KOs. Furuhashi fell to 11-8-1, 9 KOs.
Tatsuhisa Kawashima, 135, dropped Yasunori Tsukamoto, 134 1/2, with a countering right for the count at 1:39 of the 4th session in a scheduled 8. The winner is 10-3-2, 2 KOs. The loser dropped to 11-4, 8 KOs.
Ex-Japanese middle and junior middle champ Vinny Martin, a Japanese-based Ghanan at 160, eked out a close decision over less experienced but game Tomohiro Ide, 160, over 6. Martin is 18-6-2, 7 KOs. Ide impaired to 3-5-2, 2 KOs.
Promoter: Miyata Promotions.
RESULTS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Joaquin Henson wrote:
Feb. 18. Elorde Sports Center, Sucat, Paranaque. Promoter: Gabriel Elorde, Jr. Rocky Palma scored a majority l2-round decision over countryman Jun Arlos to win the vacant WBC international strawweight diadem. In other fights, Oriental junior featherweight ruler Reynante Jamili pounded out a unanimous 10-round verdict over Brutus Gastador in a non-title scrap, WBC No. 3 strawweight Carmelo Caceres halted Marlon Gayundato at 2:34 of the ninth round, and junior flyweight Lolito Laroa scored a split 10-round decision over Jojo Unabia.
Feb. 25. Cupang Elementary School, Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila. Promoter: Rod Nazario. Celso Danggod, 112, halted Abner Cordero, 112 1/2, at 2:26 of the third round. Ric Evasco, ll9, and Joven Jorda, 117, battled to a majority technical draw in the sixth round. Flash Morillo, 107 1/2, scored a unanimous 10-round decision over Ray Ganton, 107 1/2. Morillo raised his pro record to 6-l, with a single knockout. International matchmaker Jun Sarreal's boy Marlon Castaneda, 113, stopped Gabriel Calapiao, 117 1/2, at 2:00 of the first round of a scheduled eight-rounder. It was Castaneda's first KO win ever. In a dramatic ending, Gerry Garcia's boy Jun Balabat, 126, knocked out winless Ramil Amil at 2:22 of the second in a sixer. Amil went down from a vicious right hook to the jaw and half his body lay outside the ring over the apron. Amil's eyes were open but he was out cold. Balabat ran to a neutral corner after Amil collapsed, dropped to his knees, prayed, and wept. Amil finally regained his senses after about five minutes and wobbled back to his dressing room. Balabat improved his mark to 8-l-l, with four stoppages. Balabat looks like a young version of former Philippine lightweight king Roger Borreros, now retired.
March 18. Trece Martires City, Cavite. Promoter: Rod Nazario. Undefeated Philippine No. 1 junior bantgamweight Bernie Torres, 113, scored a seventh round technical knockout over No. 2 flyweight Celso Danggod in a bloody brawl. Both fighters spewed crimson and Danggod was defenseless when the ringside physician advised referee Danny Rodenas to call it a night.
Torres improved his record to 12-0, with eight KOs. Former Pan Asian Boxing Association miniflyweight champion Randy Mangubat, 108 1/2, had no difficulty disposing of Oro Amisola, 110, at 2:33 of the third. The 5-2 Mangubat lost the PABA crown to Songkram Porpaoin on a controversial technical decision in Thailand last December.
Unbeaten Philippine No. 7 flyweight Rodel Llanita, 117, dropped jaded veteran Juanito Cuma thrice to post an automatic knockout in the first round. Llanita's mark went up to 6-0, with six KOs. Cuma's record dipped to l8-20-6, with 12 knockouts. Llanita, who is trained by formerly world-ranked junior flyweight Max Forrosuelo, looks like an outstanding prospect. He spent five years training in the national amateur boxing team before turning pro.
Hard-hitting Radion Cantiga of the Ben Sun stable scored a major upset when he stopped Marlon Castaneda, 112 1/2, at 2:13 of the second round. Cantiga, 111, raised his record to l2-5-2, with eight KOs. Both fighters were bloodied in the slugfest. Cantiga caught Castaneda with a wicked right hook to the chin and Castaneda fell on his back like a sack of potatoes. Referee Danny Rodenas counted Castaneda out.
Marc Francis, 106 1/2, pounded out a unanimous eight-round decision over Jerwin Balaba, 108, and in the curtain raiser, Isagani Perez, 119, blasted Bobby Pacquiao, 119, into submission at l:54 of the first round. Pacquiao, younger brother of Oriental flyweight king Manny, was decked twice before turning his back on Perez in surrender. Perez fights out of Australian Mick O'Brien's stable in Angeles City, Pampanga.
3.27.98 [Return to Top]
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