By Joe Koizumi
Unbeaten Japanese speedster, WBC youth lightweight champ Tsukasa Saito (16-0-1, 11 KOs), 135, easily kept his belt as he sank Thai youngster Eakkhunphol Mor Krungthepthonburi (7-2, 4 KOs), 133, with a vicious body shot for the count at 2:15 of the fifth round in a scheduled ten on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan. Saito, 22, had acquired the vacant WBC youth title by stopping Rajakru Sor Rungwatana of Thailand in two quick rounds last August, and thus made his initial defense. Saito is currently ranked #8 by our commission JBC.
We have no idea on how to evaluate or place such a WBC youth championship here in Japan. Young boxers under twenty-three years of age are entitled to fight in a quest for the WBC youth belt, but our promoters had better qualify the contestants in the title bouts not to downgrade the dignity of the WBC youth championship system itself.
We, in Japan, have recognized only two sanctioning bodies of the WBC and WBA for so long, plus only two regional championships of the OPBF (Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation) and the WBC Youth (authorized just from last year). It is said that the JBC may affiliate next year with the IBF and WBO to widen opportunities for local boys to fight more for world championships due to strong requests of JPBA (Japan Professional Boxing Association that consists of all licensed club owners). Although we have already had five world champions, we may have much more titlists and see much more title bouts from next year on. In the boxing world, however, the logic of the more the better wouldn’t stand since our champs will apparently lose the rarity value.