By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Boxing Beat
Perennial contender, Vito Antuofermo stylist JBC#2 Yuta Saito (11-9-3, 8 KOs), 118, finally acquired the “cursed” Japanese bantamweight belt when he launched a fierce opening attack and battered #3 Eita Kikuchi (20-6-4, 8 KOs), 118, to the punch, prompting the ref Fukuchi’s intervention at 2:33 of the second round in a scheduled ten on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.
Why is the national 118-pound championship called “cursed” by aficionados and scribes? It’s because the title bout had been cancelled three times in succession. (1) In January, defending titlist Ryo Akaho, probably because of his unsuccessful reduction of weight as previously, failed to appear the weigh-in and fight mandatory challenger Yusuke Suzuki. (2) Instead, a title go between Suzuki and former world challenger Suguru Muranaka was planned, but Suzuki suffered an injury to be unable to participate therein. (3) In June, a title bout for the vacant belt between Muranaka and Saito was pitifully cancelled again as the former couldn’t make weight. Some cynic people said, “The bantam belt would be vacant forever.” Continue reading “Saito stops Kikuchi, wins Japanese 118lb belt”
By Joe Koizumi Photos by Boxing Beat Perennial contender, Vito Antuofermo stylist JBC#2 Yuta Saito (11-9-3, 8 KOs), 118, finally acquired the “cursed” Japanese bantamweight belt when he launched a…
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