By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
Having been dethroned by compatriot Akira Yaegashi this April, former WBC flyweight champ Toshiyuki Igarashi (18-2-1, 11 KOs), 114, appeared for the first time since, and chalked up a fine knockout victory over Mexican veteran, three-time world title challenger Omar Soto (23-11-2, 15 KOs), 113.5, at 2:32 of the ninth canto in a scheduled ten on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Also, ex-WBA 122-pound champ, currently WBA#2 feather Akifumi Shimoda (28-3-2, 12 KOs), 125, pounded out a unanimous decision (97-94 98-93,, 99-91) over Alejandro Hernandez (25-10-2, 14 KOs), 122.75, over ten.
Igarashi was formerly an Olympian whose specialty used to be his precise volume punching by utilizing his feet, but he lately forgot it to mix it up too recklessly in his defenses with Nestor Narvaez and Yaegashi. The Japanese southpaw tried to outbox the Mexican, who, however, confused Igarashi with his switch-hitting and abrupt attack despite losing points in the proceedings. Igarashi, in round nine, turned loose and landed a volley of punches to the fading foe, who went down and claimed it wasn’t a knockdown without preparing to go on. The referee Vinny Martin coldly tolled a fatal ten against the crestfallen loser. We wish to watch the Yaegashi-Igarashi rematch.
Shimoda, also a southpaw, sometimes had a tough time coping with the game opponent that occasionally landed long rights to the moving target, but he finally caught the durable Mexican, pinning him to the corner in later rounds. He will be gunning for a world title shot to regain his belt either in the 122-pound or 126-pound category.
Having upset former champ Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in Macao last April, WBO#4 super-bantam Yasutaka Ishimoto (23-6, 5 KOs), 124, proved he could connect with light but tremendously busy combinations, and halted Igracio Valenzuela (20-18-4, 9 KOs), 121, at the end of the third round in a scheduled ten. The Japanese speedster looked too much for the slower Mexican, who refused to go on with his absorption of much punishment in the corner.
Promoter: Teiken Promotions.