The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire


February 13, 1999, TOKYO-Ariake Coliseum
Unbeaten Japanese TAKANORI HATAKEYAMA, 130, barely
kept his WBA super-featherweight title as he came off the canvas in the
2nd, furiously fought in the close range thereafter and drew with
Mexican SAUL DURAN, 129 1/2, over 12.

Scored: Lou Tabat (US) 114-111 for Hatakeyama, Ferdinando Estrella
(Philippines) 116-113 for Duran, and Gustavo Padilla (Panama) 113-113.  
This reporter's tally was identical with the total of Lou Tabat, though
there were some differences in round-by-round scores.

It was Hatakeyama's first defense since he dethroned Korean Yongsoo Choi
on a hard-fought decision on Sept. 5 of the previous year.  The
hard-hitting Japanese footworker made a good start with sharp jabs and
left-right combinations in the opening session, though Duran completely
covered himself up.

Surprisingly did the champ hit the deck from Duran's well-timed jab near
the end of the 2nd.  It's a flash knockdown, but Hatakeyama's corner
abruptly changed his fight plan and made him bore in and fight in the
close quarter from the 3rd round on.

The 3rd saw the Japanese pin the Mexican to the ropes with a barrage of
punches, winning a point.  Duran, who had failed to win the WBC light
throne on a unanimous nod to Steve Johnston in Sept., 1997, continued to
cover himself up well and occasionally attempted to counter the willing
mixer.  Duran, 2 years his senior at 25, took the 4th with sharp combos.

It became a war between the aggressive infighter and the retreating
countepuncher.  The champ was in command in the 6th and 7th, as he
cornered him with a fusillade of punches and had him at bay.  It might
be a misunderstanding of Hatakeyama's corner that he was piling up
points comfortably.  The judges might evaluate a few but solid counters
of Duran who sometimes caught the onrushing Japanese--in some other

The 10th saw Australian referee Derek Milham (who moved and worked well)
penalize a point from Duran for his repeated holding to avert
Hatakeyama's assault.  The referee, in the 11th, again deducted another
point from the Mexican for his repeated low blows.  Duran dominated the
10th and 11th with more accurate punches to the champ's face.

The last and 12th round was competed by the fading contestants, both of
whom looked less effective in punching.  When the fight was over, the
crowd believed in the champ's victory.  But the official verdict, a
split draw, stunned the crowd as well as the champ.

Both corners claimed a triumph.  But Duran failed to show his
determination to win the title, since he continually retreated and
fought with his back to the ropes for most of the contest.  Hatakeyama,
who was obviously an aggressor all night, kept going forward but didn't
look very effective in later rounds.

Hatakeyama is obliged to meet the WBA top contender Lakva Sim, Mongolia,
in his next defense.  Sim, residing in Korea, was born in Mongolia on
Mar. 10, 1972, and compiled a professional record of 9-1-1, 8 KOs after
his excellent amateur career.  The Mongolian was formerly the 130-lbs.
champ of PABA (Pan Asian Boxing Federation), and his first crack at the
then WBA champ Yongsoo Choi was unsuccessful.

Promoter: Kyoei Promotions.
WBA supervisor: Dr. Elias Cordova Jr. (Panama).

ROUND         1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10     11    12  TOTAL
HATAKEYAMA   10  8 10  9  9 10 10  9 10 10      9    10   114 
DURAN         9 10  9 10 10  9  9 10  9  9(-1) 10(-1) 9   111 

ROUND         1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10     11    12  TOTAL
HATAKEYAMA   10  8  9  9  9 10 10  9  9 10     10    10   113
DURAN        10 10 10 10 10  9 10 10 10  9(-1) 10(-1) 9   116   

ROUND         1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10     11    12  TOTAL
HATAKEYAMA    9  8 10  9  9 10 10  9 10 10      9    10   113
DURAN        10 10  9 10 10  9  9 10  9  9(-1) 10(-1)10   113  


WBA #6 ranked RICK "YOSHIMURA" ROBERTS, a New Yorker living in Japan for
his military service, 135, celebrated his 34th birthday of the previous
day, as he gave a sound boxing lesson to a Jake LaMotta stylist named
KENJI FUKUNAGA, 135, and finally battered him to the punch to promt the
referee's intervention at 2:50 othe the 10th and final session.  Rick
kept his Japanese national title for the 17th time to his credit, and
raised his mark to 33-5, 19 KOs, including his two defeats in NY. 
Fukunaga fell to 12-7-3, 6 KOs.

Gigantic 7'2" Russian NICOLAI VALUEV, 317 3/4, floored JOHN TUPOU,
Tonga, 261, in the 2nd with an overhand right and finally halted him
with a flurry of punches at 1:16 of the 4th in a scheduled 6.  Valuev,
reportedly Russian heavyweight champ, extended his unbeaten mark to
19-0, 16 KOs.  Despite his size, Valuev moved and punched rather
smoothly despite his lack of convincing power.  Tupou, who fought well,
dropped to 8-2, 6 KOs.

In a scheduled 8, upcoming NAOYA HIRAHARA, 126, dropped Korean YANGKEUN
CHUN, 126, with his opening attack and stopped him at 1:55 of the first
round with his cornerman tossing in the towel in a scheduled 8. 
Hirahara, who laely campained in the US or Mexico, is 11-3-2, 7 KOs.

Attendance: 6,000.

Joe Koizumi
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