By Joe Koizumi
WBC#12/WBO#12 super-fly, ex-OPBF champ and once-world challenger Ryo Akaho (20-1-2, 13 KOs), 117, proved too pugnacious and powerful for Filipino Elmar Francisco (16-19-2, 4 KOs), 117, as he battered the defensive opponent from all angles and finally dropped him for the count at 0:44 of the fourth round in a scheduled ten rounder on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.
Akaho, then unbeaten, had a shot at the WBC 115-pound throne against compatriot Yota Sato only to lose a very unanimous verdict on the last day of the previous year. It was a great disappointment rather than a single defeat since Akaho betrayed people’s high expectations by showing nothing but his cautiousness and awkwardness in a competitive-looking contest. Akaho’s reputation as fearless fighter was completely ruined.
In his comeback bout, Akaho displayed his previous zip, speed and power in whipping the overmatched and intimidated Filipino from the outset, hurt him with solid combinations upstairs and downstairs and apparently had him at bay. Midway in the fatal fourth, the busy-moving and crisp-punching Akaho pinned him to the corner and connected with a solid left hook to the belly followed by a vicious overhand right under the ear. Down he went. His bad damage prevented him from standing up to resume fighting. We again realized Akaho’s good potential, but problem is whether he will be able to show it against a competitive rival in such an important opportunity with a world belt on the line.
Ex-Japanese welter and super-welter champ Daisuke Nakagawa (21-3-2, 16 KOs), 160, engaged in a tune-up go and decked a fine stoppage over veteran Indonesian Elvin Marbun (18-11-2, 8 KOs), 158.5, at 2:57 of the third session in a supporting eight. The elongated Nakagawa, 35, sent him sprawling to the deck with a looping left hook and had him to the deck again with a solid eight following a barrage of punches in the third. Currently ranked atop in the 160-pound category, Nakagawa will have an ambitious crack at his third national belt against defending titlist Tomohiro Ebisu this fall.
Promoter: Teiken Promotions