By Joe Koizumi
Photo: Boxing Beat
Four-class national champ Tadashi Yuba (41-7-2, 31 KOs), 159.75, a 35-year-old southpaw six-footer, impressively kept his newly-acquired Japanese middleweight belt as he started his engine early and made short work of top contender Fukutaro Ujiie (17-10-1, 11 KOs), 159.5, at 2:04 of the second round in a scheduled ten rounder on Monday in Tokyo, Japan. Yuba, once a lanky southpaw hard-puncher, seized the national lightweight belt in 2000, the super-light throne in 2002, the welter title twice in 2005 and 2007, and the middle crown this year. Once world-rated ten years ago, Yuba no longer belongs to the international level, but is still a popular crowd-pleaser with his give-and-take gameness and hard-hitting ability.
Having acquired the vacant 160-pound belt by a come-from-behind knockout of Carlos Linares (Jorge’s younger brother from Venezuela) this February, Yuba, in his initial defense after recovering from a broken jaw, faced the persistent veteran campaigner making his fourth attempt to win the belt. But it resulted in a much easier triumph than expected, as Yuba quickly unleashed a solid left to drop the challenger to the deck. Though Ujiie, 27, barely pulled himself up, it was a matter of time and Yuba furiously followed it up with another assault, which badly sent him to the deck again. The ref promptly declared a halt to the lopsided proceedings. For Yuba, there’s an unfinished business in his 17-year career, which is to gain the skipped national 154-pound diadem. Yuba had failed to win the super-welter title, losing twice to Japan-based American hard-hitter Charlie Ota Bellamy in 2010 and 2011. We’ll watch the currently oldest national champ Yuba’s swan song.
Ex-WBA 122-pound champ Retsuri Lee (AKA Ryol-li Lee; 19-3-1, 10 KOs), 125.5, was badly battered by a willing mixer Ryo Takenaka (7-2-1, 4 KOs), a formerly amateur campaigner at 126, on the verge of a KO defeat, amazingly came back to flatten him with a furious retaliation at 1:15 of the fifth round in a scheduled eight. Lee, after his upset coronation over Poonsawat Kratindaeng-gym, forfeited his WBA belt to southpaw compatriot Akifumi Shimoda in January of the previous year, and dropped an upset split decision to old fox Shoji Kimura this January. Then, Kimura was given an opportunity to have an ambitious shot at Chris John’s WBA feather belt, losing a unanimous verdict in Singapore this May. In his third bout on the comeback trail, Lee, now a full-fledged featherweight, looked still unsteady in earlier rounds since he was a notorious slow starter as previously. The stretched victim was carried out of the ring on a stretcher.
WBC international bantam champ Hiroki Shiino (8-1, 7 KOs), 121, was awarded a TKO victory over an imported Filipino named Dandy Toei (AKA Boy Dondee Pumar; 9-4-3, 3 KOs), 121.5, because of the latter’s nasty cuts at 0:36 of the fifth round in a scheduled eight. The taller Filipino hit the deck with Shiino’s short right leather midway in round two, and the winner was taking an initiative since thereafter.
Promoter: Reason Promotions.