The Cyber Boxing Zone Newswire

Nakajima Wins Vacant OPBF Minimum Title: Joe Koizumi

June 29, 1999
TOKYO, JAPAN-Fast-moving Japanese HIROSHI NAKAJIMA, 105, acquired the vacant OPBF minimumweight title as he outlegged and outsped Filipino CARMELO CACERES, 105, and showed his last surge in the last two session, winning a split but popular decision over a dull 12.

It was a least spectacular bout with Nakajima circling and Caceres missing many blows all night. The taller Nakajima utilized his faster footwork and tried to outpunch the Filipino swinger. Caceres threw just sporadic roundhouse shots. Both were continually hitting the air rather than the opponent.

In a sort of Tom-and-Jerry bout, Caceres showed his best in the 8th, when he connected with solid left-right combos to shake up the lanky Japanese. Nakajima, who was forced by the JBC to renounce his Japanese national title due to this crack at the OPBF throne, displayed his bet in the 11th, as he pinned the fading Filipino with a barrage of punches to score an important point.

Nakajima rasied his mark to 13-1-1, just 1 KO. Caceres, who had failed to win the IBF title from Willie Grigsby last Mar., sagged to 16-6-3, 3 KOs.

Scored: referee David Chung (Korea) and judge Kazunobu Asao (Japan) both 117-114 for Nakajima, and Richard Flores (Philippines) 119-111 for Caceres. Flores' score stunned Nakajima more heavily than Caceres' blows. The Japanese press and aficionados severely criticized the qualification of the Filipino judge due to his allegedly illogical tally.


In a semi-final, short but more powerful MAKOTO SUZUKI, 105, seized the vacant Japanese minimum title, as he finally caught bloodied ITSUO OKA, 105, with solid combinations and halted him with the towel fluttering from his corner at 1:13 of the 10th and final round.

It's a see-saw affair, but Suzuki occasionally connected with an effective right uppercut to bounce off Oka's head. Aware of the bout being very close, Suzuki went all out to decide the affair and decked a fine KO triumph. (In Japan, when the towel is tossed in while the referee is counting against a fallen boxer, it is registered as a Knockout, not a TKO.)

Suzuki, managed by ex-world fly challenger Kyo Noguchi (who failed to win the world title from Pone Kingpetch), raised his mark to 9-5-2, 5 KOs. Despite his mediocre record, Suzuki has recently improved much and can punch harder than his credentials indicate. Oka, Nakajima's stablemate, fell to 10-7-2, no KO.

YUKI HASHIGUCHI KO8 IEYASU YASHIRO A serious incident happened on an undercard. Previously unbeaten minimum prospect IEYASU YASHIRO, 105, was widely leading on points, but abruptly collapsed to be declared a KO loser to unheralded YUKI HASHIGUCHI, 104 3/4, at 0:38 of the 8th and final session.

Yashiro, a highly expected ex-All Japan high school champ, gained a couple of gold medals, and was scouted to turn professional by Nitto Boxing Club. The lanky lefty showed his faster foot and hand in controlling the fight, as shown by the official tallies of 69-65 by all the officials.

Yashiro, 8-1, 1 KO, was carried out of the ring on a stretcher, and was urgently hospitalized at Jikei Medical Hospital. He underwent a surgery to remove a blood clot. He stays in a coma.

In the fatal 8th, Yashiro seemed to fall due to a collison of heads, so the referee didn't count but ordered them to resume fighting. Yashiro, however, collapsed again without throwing even a punch. He stayed prone on the deck until they brought a stretcher.

Hashiguchi, 7-6, 4 KOs, kept boring in regardless of absorbing considerably much punishment as Yashiro almost lopsidedly kept peppering him. As the contest progressed, Hashiguchi came to score some solid straight right-left hook combinations, which, however, weren't enough to overcome his deficits on points. Anyway, we have lost a good 105-pound prospect in Yashiro, as the JBC forbids any boxers who undergo a brain surgery to fight again.

Co-promoted by Watanabe Promotions and Noguchi Boxing Club. (6-29-99)

-- Joe Koizumi
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