By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Sumio Yamada
Unbeaten Japanese prospect, WBC youth flyweight champ Kento Hatanaka (10-0, 9 KOs), 112.75, barely scored an important victory over WBC#11 Jayseber Abcede (19-9, 12 KOs), 110, by a close but unanimous decision (95-93, 96-93, 96-92) over ten hard-fought rounds on Saturday in Nagoya, Japan. Each hit the deck in the process of their give-and-take affair.
Kento, an aggressive son of today’s promoter Kiyoshi Hatanaka (former WBC 122-pound ruler), took the initiative by dropping the world-rated Filipino Abcede with a vicious right in the third. But the hard-hitting Filipino sent Kento to the canvas in return with a left uppercut following a furious combo in the next fourth, when it became a see-saw war. Kento, three years younger than Jaysebar’s 24, made good use of footwork to avert Abcede’s roundhouse punches and connected with short but accurate punches while retreating and circling.
Kento suffered lacerations on both optics but looked very happy, saying, “I wish to follow my father’s footstep. I believe I can do that.”