By Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten WBC#12/WBA#14 OPBF super-bantam champ Yukinori Oguni (10-0, 2 KOs), 122, kept his regional belt as he was awarded a split but well-received decision (116-112, 116-114 and 113-114) over ex-titlist Roli Gasca (19-4, 5 KOs), also 122, an aggressive Filipino youngster, over twelve hard-fought rounds on Sunday in Kobe, Japan. It was a grudge fight as Oguni dropped Gasca twice to dethrone him via upset verdict at the same venue a year ago. Since then, Oguni, an up-and-coming prospect with his amateur career, successfully made a couple of defenses, defeating former OPBF ruler Hiromasa Ohashi and highly world-rated national titlist Masaaki Serie this year.
But Oguni today experienced a tough fight as Gasca showed his determination to win back his belt with his all physical and mental power from the outset. It’s Oguni’s long jabs and effective rights that prevented Gasca from taking the initiative in the proceedings. After the eighth, the open scoring system showed Oguni was leading: 79-74, 78-76 and 75-77. Oguni, a taller and lanky speedster, made good use of his tight guard and solid body shots to weaken the still pugnacious Filipino in later rounds. It’s a very good competitive fight.
Hiroto Fukuhara (15-7-8, 7 KOs), 129.75, stunned the crowd with a sudden and smashing countering right that impressively halted highly regarded Filipino Roberto Gonzalez (20-2, 11 KOs), 129.75, at 1:53 of the third round in a scheduled eight. Gonzalez barely regained his feet, but couldn’t maintain his equilibrium, so the ref duly called a halt.
Jecker Buhawe (14-7-1, 9 KOs), 115.75, scored a dramatic last-round stoppage of Japanese hard-puncher Shinichiro Morikawa (11-4-1, 8 KOs), 115.5, at 2:42 of the eighth session. His quick combination was an effective haymaker..
Promoter: VADY Promotions.