By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Free-swinging Filipino WBO#12 Richard Pumicpic (21-8-2, 6 KOs), 125.5, proved too strong and durable for previously unbeaten Japanese prospect Yoshimitsu Kimura (9-1, 4 KOs), 125.75, as he comfortably retained his WBO Asia Pacific featherweight belt by a unanimous decision (116-112 twice, 115-13) over twelve hard-fought rounds on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.
Pumicpic took the initiative with an opening attack and maintained his aggressiveness to the hard-hitting but less experienced 21-year-old rival throughout the contest. Kimura, handled by ex-WBA 108-pound champ Yoko Gushiken, occasionally fought back hard, but was often overwhelmed by Pumicpic’s rough-and-tumble tactics in the close quarter. The Filipino’s strong heart and abundant stamina carried him to a victory after their hot exchanges of solid punches.