By Joe Koizumi
Unheralded, unexpected and awkward Masaaki Serie (15-3, 6 KOs), 121.5, very amazingly wrested the Japanese national 122-pound belt as he kept landing a roundhouse left uppercut to the belly at a time to WBC#9/WBA#9 super-bantam Shoji Kimura (23-3-2, 9 KOs), 122, winning a split but popular decision (98-95, 97-95 and 95-96) over ten lousy rounds on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. Kimura looked so terrible, lacking usual speed, aggressiveness and zip that he repeated grabbing the unorthodox underdog especially in the second half. Serie, six years his junior at 26, displayed his fighting spirit, neither skills nor speed, to be in command down the stretch. With his awkwardly wide stance, Serie didn’t look to have properly learnt how to box, but was fortunate enough to seize the belt from the sluggish champ.
In a companion national title go, Japanese 140-pound champ, WBA#15 Yosukezan Onodera (21-1-1, 8 KOs), 139.75, easily kept his belt when he swarmed over southpaw footworker Akihito Nishio (13-6-2, 8 KOs), 139.75, and finally brought him to a standstill with a flurry of punches to prompt the referee’s intervention at 1:36 of the sixth session. Onodera fought like Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom, throwing too many open blows to the lanky challenger without heart. Promoter: Hanagata Promotions.