By Joe Koizumi
WBC#4 Japanese super-fly champ Daigo Nakahiro (21-2, 8 KOs), 114.5, barely kept his national 115-pound belt as he decked formerly two-time world challenger Hidenobu Honda (31-7, 14 KOs), 114.5, withstood his retaliation and dominated the contest down the stretch, winning a hairline majority nod (96-95, 97-93 and 95-95) over ten fast rounds on Saturday in Hiroshima, Japan. The slick-punching champ caught the veteran southpaw with a well-timed countering right and dropped him in the opening session, but didn’t follow it up so furiously. The man who furiously fought back from the second on was Honda, who desperately came one fighting to make it on even terms after the fourth. The challenger showed his vast experience in his failures in winning the WBC fly belt from Pongsaklek Wongjongkam in 2002 and the WBA super-fly throne from Alexander Munoz next year. But it was the home-towner Nakahiro that displayed good combinations with precision in the seventh and eighth, which carried him to the second defense of his national belt. People had thought it might be a mismatch in the champ’s favor, but it resulted in a highly competitive contest because of Honda’s swan song. Promoter: Hiroshima Sanei Promotions.