Report by Joe Koizumi
Photo by Boxing Beat
WBC#9 bantam Kohei Ohba (33-2-1, 12 KOs), 118, regained the Japanese national 118-pound belt by winning a unanimous decision (96-94, 97-93 and 98-93) over JBC#1 Zerofit Jerope (AKA Jerope Mercado; 25-4-3, 9 KOs), 117.75, over ten fast rounds on Saturday in Kobe, Japan.
Ohba, once a bright prospect in Nagoya, had experienced his ambition derailed by a couple of bitter setbacks by Filipino veterans Malcolm Tunacao on points and Rolly Lunas Matsushita by an eleventh-round TKO, but displayed his great motivation back to stardom with his very positive performance. Ohba took the initiative from the outset as he showed his aggressiveness in outpunching the Japan-based Filipino counterpuncher. The third saw Ohba hit the deck with the third man ignoring it without counting, and it was Ohba that dominated the round with his good retaliation. Jerope fought well, but he failed to show enough to seize a victory because of his usual cautiousness and too much patience. Ohba, five years his junior at 28, thus regained the national belt in three years after his relinquishment.
Promoter: Shinsei Promotions.