By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Boxing Beat
Only once beaten by current WBC bantam champ Shinsuke Yamanaka, WBC#1/WBO#4/IBF#10 Ryosuke Iwasa (17-1, 10 KOs), 117.75, kept his OPBF 118-pound belt by winning a majority but well-received decision (116-112, 116-113, 114-114) over top contender Richard Pumicpic (13-6-1, 4 KOs), 117, over twelve heats on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan. The much taller southpaw Iwasa’s height and reach was a nuisance for Pumicpic to bore in, but the Filipino challenger gamely kept going forward with occasional rights to the champ’s face regardless of precision, while Iwasa connected with light but faster combinations to the onrushing Filipino.
A supporting ten saw a give-and-take short story, where WBC#8 super-fly Ryo Akaho (22-1-2, 15 KOs), 117, came off the canvas from a flash knockdown by a countering left-right combination of Filipino Richard Garcia (25-18-1, 7 KOs), 117, in the opening session, but landed a vicious left hook to the face to knock him out at 2:23 of the second session. Garcia stood up but immediately fell again to be completely counted out. It was his first defeat in his fourth bout here in Japan as he previously beat Masayuki Kuroda and Kenji Yoshida, and drew with Go Onaga. He wasn’t what he used to be.
Promoter: Celes Promotions.