Filipino Pabustan wins vacant WBO ASPAC 118lb belt by technical decision over Takahashi

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

On the next day of Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao’s forfeiture of the belt in Australia, another Filipino Jetro Pabustan (29-4-6, 9 KOs), 117.5, impressively acquired the vacant WBO Asia Pacific (ASPAC) bantamweight belt as he was awarded a well-received majority technical decision (67-65, 67-66, 67-67) over local favorite Tatsuya Takahashi (26-7-5, 19 KOs), 117.75, because of the Japanese loser’s deep lacerations on both optics at 0:38 of the seventh round on Monday in Tokyo, Japan.

The first round saw Jetro display a jet-propelled opening attack with fast and ferocious southpaw lefts that almost stunned the taller but stiff Japanese, which really impressed the crowd. Pabustan previously had a shot at the WBO bantam belt only to lose a seventh-round technical decision to defending champ Phuengluang Sor Singyu in Thailand in February of the last year.

The game Japanese, a year his senior at 28, occasionally showed retaliations, but sustained bad gashes over the left eyebrow in the second and another over the opposite optic in the fourth, the latter of which became so worsened that his face was in a mess of streaming blood. Having almost lopsidedly dominated the contest, Jetro accelerated his attack in the fifth and sixth to terminate the affair with furious combos. But it wasn’t he but the third man that halted the game—due to Takahashi’s deteriorated cuts.

It’s surprising that a Thai judge tallied such a one-sided game even at the stoppage, and he might probably have watched another game. Takahashi, so late as in the fifth, found the Filipino’s weakness at the midsection, but he couldn’t follow up to connect with body shots owing to Jetro’s smashing countering lefts. Despite Pacquiao having lost his belt, Jetro gained the belt for his country, although the value and importance of the belt is quite different.

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