By Joe Koizumi
Wise men say slow and steady wins the race, but we cannot stop rushing our prospect to the top so quickly. Some prevail, but others fail. Former world kick-boxing champ Kenji Kubo (1-1), 118, engaged in his second international style fight, but was unfortunately battered and stopped by WBC#20 ranked WBC international flyweight titlist Rey Megreno (19-20-3, 17 KOs), 117.25, Philippines, at 2:00 of the third round in a six-round main event on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.
In this country there won’t be an Archie Moore having to wait so long to get his first world title crack. Any vastly talented prospect usually rush in to acquire a world championship as soon as possible to show his brilliance and excellence. Kubo, a 23-year-old baby face, decked his debut by defeating ex-world challenger and Indonesian veteran Nouldy Manakane (who lost to Koki Kameda in a quest for the WBA bantam belt here last April) by a nearly shutout six-round decision last November. He looked physically strong and proved he could punch.
His second opponent Megreno was the man who upset ex-WBC flyweight champ Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in three quick rounds in their third encounter and had the Thai legend to hang up gloves for good. He newly got ranked #20 thanks to this triumph. Pongsaklek had beaten Megreno twice—by a unanimous nod and by a first-round stoppage, so might be overconfident and careless against the Filipino who had suffered more losses than victories. Furthermore, the flyweight Filipino this time failed to make the bantam contracted weight by two pounds and had to shed the poundage in a sauna bath. Kubo party might logically become careless, as Pongsaklek did.
Megreno, in the fight, made an early start as he exploded with strong overhand rights that had Kubo staggering to the ropes and had him sprawling to the deck though the referee generously called it a slip. Kobo’s legs sagged and looked so badly paralyzed that he couldn’t move smoothly and swiftly only to be saved by the bell.
The second round witnessed the still nervous Kubo effectively utilize his footwork and jabs to keep the distance from the early starter, but it was Megreno that fought back and caught the prospect with solid roundhouse rights to the cheek. Again he was staggered badly.
The third saw a nightmare for Kubo and his supporters, as Megreno dropped the Japanese youngster with a vicious left-right combination onto the canvas. Though barely beating the count, Kubo apparently lost his equilibrium enough to soundly fight back. Swarming over the damaged loser, Megreno furiously battered the ex-kick-boxing titlist from all angles to prompt the referee’s intervention.
Their dressing rooms showed a strong contract with Kubo crying over spilt milk and Megreno talking jubilantly and victoriously. Why was he so tremendously happy? It’s because he could win a knockout bonus promised by the organizer Kenichi Hagimori for no less than 200,000 Yen (equivalent to US$2,222). Megreno was invited here as a stepping stone for a future golden boy Kubo, but the Filipino who said he had been constructing a small house in Baguio made Kubo a supplier for buying a stepping stone of his new home.
Kubo’s third bout with WBC #13 bantam Yodcharnchai Nakhornluang Promotion on March 25 has been eventually cancelled by his unexpected setback.
Promoter: Be Tight Promotions.