By Joe Koizumi
Stylish footworker Daiki Kaneko (16-2-3, 9 KOs), 130, finely made his initial defense of the Japanese super-feather belt as he quickly dispatched Michiya Sato (9-4-3, 6 KOs), 129.5, at 1:39 of the second round in a scheduled ten on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. We were stunned by Sato’s too fragile chin rather than by the usually more cautious jabber Kaneko’s blitzkrieg. Having dethroned hard-hitting but less skillful Seiichi Okada via eighth round stoppage last May, Kaneko looked fresh and fast in dropping nervous and stiff Sato with a light right shot. Sato managed to beat the count, and barely lasted the opening session with very rubbery legs. The one-minute recess wasn’t enough to remove his damage, and the still shaky Sato hit the deck twice more with the towel fluttering into the ring. Kaneko, unbeaten since his last defeat in 2007 despite three draws, had been castigated for his cautiousness, but the 5’9” champ may zoom up should he utilize his advantageous physique and speedy footwork more properly. Promoter: Teiken Promotions.