By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
WBA super-flyweight champ Hugo Cazares (34-6-2, 24 KOs), 115, a Mexican switch-hitter, kept his belt as he pounded out a unanimous decision over counter-punching Japanese Hiroyuki Hisataka (19-9-1, 8 KOs), 114.75, over twelve gory rounds on Thursday in Osaka, Japan.
The official tallies were as follows: Russell Mora (US) and Gustavo Padilla (Panama) both 117-111, and Sergio Caiz (US) 116-112, all for the defending champ Cazares. The referee was Luis Pabon (Puerto Rico).
The 32-year-old fighting champ Cazares registered his third defense in less than eight months since he dethroned Japan’s Nobuo Nashiro in their grudge fight (with a drawn game in the first encounter) at the same arena this May.
In reviewing the sizzling contest, Hisakata’s strategy apparently looked wrong and unsuccessful since he kept waiting too long for his trademark countering shots, while Cazares kept punching to pile up points steadily.
For Hisataka, it was his third crack at the world throne, following his failures to win the WBA flyweight belt from compatriot Takefumi Sakata in 2008 and from Denkaosen Kaowichit in 2009. He recently went to Thailand and scored an upset eighth-round TKO victory over then WBC top rated Panomrunglek Kratingdaeng-gym, winning the WBC silver belt this May.
The baby-faced Japanese made a good start, positively throwing good rights to the champ’s belly in the opening round. But Cazares quickly retaliated to win the next two rounds with ease, as Hisataka became cautious and careful to watch the champ’s puzzling switch-hitting.
The third round saw Hisataka, 25, sustain a gash caused by a butt, which kept streaming blood until the end of the bout. It was obviously a nuisance for the Japanese challenger to retaliate in later rounds.
In round four Hisataka connected with a solid right to have the champ pay his respect for the first time, as Cazares had looked a little overconfident by underestimating the Japanese challenger’s credentials and power.
It was a question why Hisataka was so negative without throwing jabs or combinations throughout the contest even though he kept aiming to counter against the awkward switch-hitter. Cazares easily accumulated points simply because of Hisataka’s lack of action especially in middle rounds. The Japanese, however, showed his best in round eight, when he almost stunned the champ with a well-timed right and desperately threw solid combinations to the bewildered Mexican, who was saved by the bell. The ninth was a close round where neither could score with precision.
Cazares, with more experience and composure, swept the last three sessions with great ease, as he kept positively throwing right jabs or left jabs depending on his switch-hitting stance. He also often connected with southpaw lefts to the Japanese challenger to confirm his victory.
The still champ Cazares said, “Hisataka was a better boxer than I thought. He may have good potential to fight for the world belt again either as a 112-pounder or a 115-pounder. I feel happy to have kept my belt in Osaka where I acquired the championship. I may come back here again.”
Hisakata should be castigated because of his lack of aggressiveness, fighting spirit and fight plan. We have lately not seen such a negative challenger in any world title bouts here in Japan. Though he could sometimes connect with his vaunted rights, he failed to score it more frequently. He only threw a punch at a time all the way, which frustrated the audience and TV watchers as well. Reviewing his performance against Sakata, Denkaosen and Cazares, all with the championship on the line, we may point out his necessity of will power to win the world belt.
Just a day before Christmas Eve, Hisataka failed to dedicate his Christmas present to our fight fans. What he delivered them was simply a disappointment and discouragement as he was never a Santa Claus tonight.
WBA supervisor: Yangsup Shim (Korea).
Promoter: Nakazato Atsumi Promotions.