By Joe Koizumi
Photos: Boxing Beat
WBA #10 unbeaten Ryo Akaho (17-0-2, 11 KOs), 114.75, kept his OPBF super-fly belt as he showed a lackluster performance in earlier rounds but picked up his pace thereafter to batter busy-punching but less powerful compatriot Toyoto Shiraishi (21-6-1, 10 KOs), 115, to halt him at 1:24 of the ninth round on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.
Shiraishi fought well by often pinning the champ to the ropes with a barrage of punches in the second and third sessions, but unfortunately suffered a vertical laceration on the forehead caused by the champ’s attack midway in the third. Why was Akaho so wild and free-swinging tonight? He seldom threw straight rights but only roundhouse rights and looping left hooks. Superior as he was on the volume of punches—if not on the stat of power punches, Shiraishi had the bad gash streaming blood continually with his face in crimson. After the eighth, the open scoring system indicated the champ was leading on points: 78-74 twice and 77-75. As Akaho caught him with solid combinations, referee Uratani didn’t hesitate to declare a halt despite the gory Shiraishi’s spiritual retaliation.
Akaho had been slated to make his initial defense against world-rated national champ Yota Sato this August, but had the right finger fractured during a sparring session to disappointingly cancel the sensational confrontation. Then Shiraishi, the OPBF mandatory challenger, became a substitute for Sato, his stablemate.
Promoter: Teiken Promotions.