By Joe Koizumi
Hard-punching perennial contender, OPBF#1 Katsuhiko Iezumi (26-7-3, 19 KOs), 108, seized the interim OPBF 108-pound belt by decking a dramatic TKO win over OPBF#2 Tsutomu Yamanaka (17-2, 6 KOs), 108, at 2:49 of the eighth round on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.
Iezumi was slated to have a mandatory shot at the OPBF throne against compatriot Yukio Wadamine this March, but the champ suffered an auto accident just a week prior to the event. His whiplash neck injury caused the OPBF to reluctantly sanction an interim title elimination bout between the OPBF top two ranked contenders despite the OPBF’s fundamental attitude not to recognize any interim championship to avoid criticized proliferation.
It was really a give-and-take affair. Yamanaka, in the first, badly dropped Iezumi, who floored him back in the second. The shorter Yamanaka had him on the deck again in the closing seconds of the fourth. Since then, it was Iezumi that took back the initiative and piled up points to have the tide turn. The eighth saw Iezumi rain a barrage of punches to the fading foe with the ref Uratani interrupting to his rescue. Then Yamanaka fell flat to be carried out on a stretcher. The OPBF light-fly unification bout between Wadamine and Iezumi will take place within this year, depending on the full champ’s complete recovery.
Promoter: Flash Akabane Promotions.