By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Free-swinging Japanese Hiroaki Teshigawara (15-2-2, 9 KOs), 118, captured the WBO Asia Pacific (ASPAC) bantamweight belt when he put on a rough-and-tumble fight, recklessly mixed it up, decked defending Filipino champ Jetro Pabustan (29-5-6, 9 KOs), 118, in the ninth and finally halted him at 2:52 of the tenth round in a scheduled twelve on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.
Do you still remember formerly three-time world 154-pound champ Koichi Wajima who dethroned Italian Carmelo Bossi (a 1960 Olympic silver medalist who lost to Wilbert McClure in the final in Rome) in 1971? Teshigawara, powerful but less accurate, is his pupil under his management, and was considerably evaluated thanks to his split decision loss to current national bantam boss Ryo Akaho last October.
The southpaw Filipino champ, who had gained the vacant regional belt by a technical nod over Tatsuya Takahashi here his July, seemed to forget to bring his fighting spirit from his country only to repeat clinching and holding the aggressive challenger. Far from Pacquiao-like, Pabustan was disgracefully penalized for grabbing his foe too often in round ten just moments prior to a well-received stoppage by ref Fukuchi.
Jetro started well, but it apparently became Hiroaki’s game from the fifth on as the champ inexplicably turned so defensive that he lost a point in every session thereafter. The eighth witnessed the taller and faster challenger catch up with the fading champ with a fast combination to floor him to the deck, which duly indicated Hiroaki’s coronation soon. Prior to the stoppage in the next stanza, the newly crowned champ had been comfortably leading on points: 89-81, 88-82 and 87-83. Teshigawara, however, had better learn his handler Koichi Wajima’s slickness and slyness that outmaneuvered Miguel de Oliveira, Oscar Shotgun Alvarado and Jae-Doo Yuh—all in their rematches.