Report by Joe Koizumi
Photos by Boxing Beat
Japanese heavyweight prospect Kyotaro Fujimoto (6-1, 4 KOs), 229.75, made a fine comeback from his last bitter KO defeat as he aggressively battered southpaw Frenchman Fabrice Aurieng (7-5, 2 KOs), 249, and dropped him three times prior to a well-timed stoppage at 1:11 of the seventh round on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Kyotaro, formerly rated #14 by the WBC thanks to his upset decision over Chauncy Welliver, was badly flattened by Australian Solomon Haumono on the last day of the previous year, when he showed neither zip nor motivation only to disappoint the crowd in Osaka. He missed the vacant OPBF heavyweight belt then and there. Having dropped out of the WBC’s top fifteen, he had his stock also drop to the bottom. The ex-K1 martial art fighter, however, displayed a good form in whipping the much heavier French southpaw and decked him in the first, second and fourth sessions.
Kyotaro was an aggressor, but occasionally absorbed Aurieng’s solid retaliations and withstood them to overwhelm the game and gallant Frenchman. The fifth saw Aurieng catch him with vicious right uppercuts to have him rubbery-legged, but the Japanese heavyweight fought back hard with a two-fisted attack and had him at bay in round six.
It was Kyotaro that lopsidedly battered the fading opponent with a flurry of punches, pinning him to the ropes in the fatal seventh. His cornerman Alan Kermorvan tossed the towel to save his man from further punishment just when the referee Fukuchi declared a halt. The winner and the loser both won the praise of the audience at the Hall for Kyotaro’s fine comeback victory and for Aurieng’s persistent performance without throwing the fight.
Is there a Japanese heavyweight championship? No, but it previously existed fifty-six years ago, when Noboru Kataoka briefly reigned as a national champ with no competitive challengers in 1957, so it pitifully disappeared and became vacant for a long time. Now the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) has authorized the heavyweight category to restore with Kyotaro and Japan-based Ugandan Okello Peter to dispute the vacant belt on July 25.
Peter, 40, once fought for the WBC throne against Oleg Maskaev only to lose a very unanimous decision in Russia in 2006. Some people say Peter (21-6, 19 KOs) will be too much for Kyotaro as he is four inches taller and twenty pounds heavier than the 26-year-old Japanese, who, however, has an advantage on age and agility. Whether or not Kyotaro is a real thing will be verified by Peter’s superior experience and size.
In the main event, Japanese super-bantam champ Hidenori Otake (20-1-3, 9 KOs), 121.5, kept his national belt by a unanimous technical decision (76-75 twice and 77-75) over top contender Nobuhisa Coronita Doi (26-14-8, 9 KOs), 121.75, at 1:40 of the eighth round in a scheduled ten. Doi, 34, kept bleeding too profusely to go on, and the third man often had his gashes examined by the ringside physician and finally called a halt to take a technical verdict. Doi, formerly a sparring partner for Marco Antonio Barrera in Mexico, made a good start as he scored with effective right crosses, but the 31-year-old champ gradually dominated the initiative to earn a close but unanimous nod.
Promoter: Kaneko Promotions.