Report by Joe Koizumi
WBC#2/WBO#3/IBF#15 southpaw bantam Japanese, Ryosuke Iwasa (15-1, 9 KOs), 118, defeated durable Filipino puncher Jecker Buhawe (13-9-1, 8 KOs), 117.75, by winning a shutout decision (all 100-90) over ten fast rounds on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan. Iwasa, gunning for a rematch with WBC bantam ruler Shinsuke Yamanaka to avenge his one and only setback in his career, scored seven victories straight since his nightmare of a tenth and final-round stoppage by the current WBC titlist in March 2011. Iwasa, a 23-year-old ex-national high school champ, made good use of southpaw jabs and straight lefts that penetrated Buhawe’s tight guard with precision.
The Filipino swinger, who recently scored an upset eight-round TKO over local favorite Shinichiro Morikawa here last November, absorbed much punishment but came back fighting with his admirable fighting spirit. The fifth witnessed Iwasa beautifully floor him with a countering left in the closing seconds of the session with the Filipino banger saved by the bell coming to his rescue.
The quick-punching Iwasa kept pummeling him with sharp combinations, but Buhawe withstood his constant pressure and versatile combinations upstairs and downstairs. It was Iwasa that accelerated his attack in round eight to bring home the bacon early, but Buhawe’s durability was so incredible that he refused to go down and managed to go to the distance.
Iwasa, who repented of his incapability of finishing the game Filipino foe, said, “I wish to face new OPBF champ Hiroki Shiino in a quest for his belt. The ultimate reason why I stay in the bantam division is just to meet Yamanaka again to recover my tarnished reputation by him. Next time I’ll win and also win the world belt.” Iwasa is a vastly talented speedster, but he is still a bit monotonous and will need more versatility and flexibility on his strategy. But he certainly proved the third man in the Japanese bantam category behind Yamanaka and WBA champ Koki Kameda, and will get a world title shot next year.
Japanese top flyweight contender Takuma Hayashi (22-2-1, 7 KOs), 113.75, was more aggressive and effective in outpunching Marzon Cabella (9-9-1, 4 KOs), 113.75, en route to a unanimous nod (79-73 twice and 80-72) over eight. Cabella, however, displayed his iron heart despite his setback, winning the crowd’s applause. JBC #2 light-fly Yu Kimura (12-2-1, 2 KOs), 110, earned a unanimous verdict (79-74 and 79-73 twice) over #8 minimum Tatsuya Fukuhara (12-3-3, 3 KOs), 108.25, over eight. WBO Asia Pacific Youth flyweight champ Romnick Magos (9-2, 5 KOs), 114.25, kept peppering Japanese prospect Kohei Kubo (15-4-1, 10 KOs), 114.75, all the way despite his visit to the canvas in the second, and finally halted the exhausted Japanese at 2:35 of the fifth round in a scheduled eight. Magos was a non-stop punching Bernabe Villacampo stylist. All the three Filipino boys fought much better than the spectators had expected, winning their hot praise.
Promoter: Celes Promotions.