By Joe Koizumi
WBA no. 15 lightweight Takehiro Shimada (24-5-1, 16 KOs), 134.5, defeated durable and game Mexican Alexis Salinas (11-4-2, 7 KOs), 134.25, by a unanimous decision (99-93, 97-93 and 97-94) over ten hot frames on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. Having failed to win the WBA 135-pound belt from Paulus Moses in Namibia last July, Shimada, the oldest active boxer here at 38, made a fine display of left jabs that penetrated the aggressive Mexican’s guard so effectively that he comfortably and continually piled up points. Salinas, sixteen years his junior, turned loose with non-stop combinations including looping rights to be in command in round eight. But Shimada, a cagey veteran, fought back hard to maintain his initiative. Shimda is gunning for a shot at Moses again next time at his home turf as he is a good ticket-seller by himself.
Click the photo to go to the next photo
It was the first show held at the Hall this year. Should you be a foreign spectator, you will be surprised to see legendary ex-two-time world champ Masahiko “Fighting” Harada serve you with a paper cup of sake (Japanese rice wine) inside the gate. Harada and ex-WBC/WBA 105-pound titlist Hideyuki Ohashi (the new president of Japan Professional Boxing Association succeeding Harada) were the host to celebrate the first promotion here. They said, “Joe, you drink one.” This reporter hesitated to accept their kind offer and replied, “Today I’m the matchmaker of the main event. Should I get drunk and make a mistake in counting the boxer’s purse, that’ll be a problem.” We will see some 130 shows at the Hall this year, as previously.
Promoter: Yonekura Promotions.
Matchmaker: Joe Koizumi (as for the Shimada-Salinas bout).