Japan’s Takashi Miura said his late father helped him win the new World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight championship on Monday, after a technical knockout in the ninth round against Gamaliel Diaz.
The 28-year-old challenger floored the Mexican title-holder with a straight left one minute and 21 seconds into the ninth to finish the contest, having already knocked his opponent to the canvas several times during the bout.
“I have no words, but I’m happy. I wanted to show this belt to my father, but he passed away a month ago. I think he helped me. I made it,” said Miura, who was fighting for the world title belt for a second time.
Miura, who had been the 10th-ranked challenger, lost one penalty point due to butting in the opening round, but fought back aggressively in the second, connecting with a straight left.
The Japanese challenger knocked Diaz down in the third round with a counter-attack as he gained momentum, but after the fourth the scores were even at 37-37.
In the fifth, Miura unleashed a barrage of straight lefts, cutting Diaz’s right eye, after the 32-year-old Mexican’s left eye had already been cut by the earlier butting.
Another straight left knocked Diaz to the canvas again in the sixth, and a right hook had the Mexican down once more in the seventh, before the technical knockout brought the fight to an end.
Miura took his record to 25 wins, including 19 KOs, against two defeats and two draws.
Diaz had been making his first defense of the title he wrested from Takahiro Aoh of Japan in October last year. His record now stands at 37 wins, including 17 KOs, against 10 defeats and two draws.
Meanwhile, challenger Akira Yaegashi won a close-range battle to outpoint fellow Japanese Toshiyuki Igarashi in a WBC flyweight title bout.
The three judges scored it 115-110, 116-109 and 117-108 in favor of the challenger.
“It’s like a dream. A small boxer like me was able to fight in a big class. It was a nice challenge. I’m the strongest in the world,” said Yaegashi, who had a 0-4 record against Igarashi when the two were amateur fighters.
“I tried to fight in my style until the end,” added Yaegashi, 30, who improved his record to 17 wins, including nine KOs, against three defeats.
Igarashi started cautiously against Yaegashi, who unleashed numerous left jabs and left and right hooks to lead 3-0 after the fourth round.
In the next four rounds both fighters were penalized for butting, but each landed hooks to the other’s face and opened eyebrow cuts.
Yaegashi still led 3-0 after the eighth round and dominated the following four rounds, landing more accurate hooks and straight blows and almost sending Igarashi to the canvas in the 11th round with a right hook.
It was Igarashi’s second defense of the title. He now has 17 wins, including 10 KOs, against two defeats and a draw.
Also on Monday, Japan’s Shinsuke Yamanaka defeated Malcolm Tunacao of the Philippines by technical knockout to defend his WBC bantamweight title.
Yamanaka, 30, floored the challenger twice in the third round with a straight left.
It was the same straight left shot that knocked a bloodied Tunacao to the canvas one minute and 57 seconds into the 12th, for the referee to top the fight.
“I was ready to knock him out, but my opponent was also fighting pretty well. I went for it in the end. I got married and I have a child now, that made me stronger,” Yamanaka said.