By Joe Koizumi
Unheralded and unknown, Japanese #9 flyweight Yasutaka Kobayashi (15-2-2, 2 KOs), 113.75, stunned the crowd at the Korakuen Hall as he displayed unexpectedly excellent combinations and right-hand counters in scoring a very upset majority decision (96-95, 98-94 and 96-96) over WBC#9/WBA#9 Takahisa Masuda (20-8-3, 5 KOs), 113.75, over ten fast frames on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. Probably Kobayashi’s low KO ratio had Masuda accept him as just an opponent in a tune-up go, but the underdog showed his career-best performance by outhustling the taller and more experienced prefight favorite down the stretch.
In the main event, WBA#8/WBC#12 super-bantam Shoji Kimura (23-2-2, 9 KOs), 122, impressively kept his national 122-pound belt as he so accurately countered up-and-coming youngster, JBC#6 Tomoki Kanazawa (12-4-2, 6 KOs), 122, all night, and finally dropped him with a Ricardo Lopez-like left uppercut to the button for the count at 1:34 of the ninth session. Kimura, five years his senior at 31, had captured the national belt with a pulverizing second-round knockout of world-rated defending champ Kazuma Miura this February. Why could the previously soft-punching Kimura, over thirty, abruptly become a hard-puncher? Promoter: Hanagata Promotions.