By Joe Koizumi
WBA#7/WBC#11 Masayuki Kuroda (21-3-1, 13 KOs), 107.75, barely kept his Japanese national light-flyweight belt as he was held to a split draw (96-95, 95-96, 95-95) by WBA#14 Ryoichi Taguchi (16-1-1, 7 KOs), 107.75, over ten hustling rounds on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. It was disappointing from the technical point of view, as they pushed each other rather than mixed it up—from the beginning to the end—without landing effective shots. Kuroda, making his third defense, was an aggressor in the close quarter in the first four rounds, but didn’t look so effective despite the volume of his positive attack. Taguchi, a switch-hitter, occasionally shifted from orthodox to southpaw, but couldn’t display effective aggression only to make it a dull affair. The drawn verdict might be a good suggestion for their future improvement, if possible. Kuroda had better remember his previous hit-and-run tactics to keep his belt against top-notch challengers. Promoter: Kawasaki Nitta Promotions.