Funai finishes Parrenas, wins WBO AP 115lb belt

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

You probably don’t know an advertisement of a popular Japanese candy named GLICO: one drop twice sweet. Only in Japan. A tripleheader at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday was more than a GLICO drop—three times as enjoyable as a single title show.

In the first title go, IBF#7 ex-national champ Ryoichi Funai (30-7, 21 KOs), 114.75, withstood furious attacks of Japan-based Filipino Warlito Parrenas (26-8-1, 23 KOs), 114.25, and finally acquired the vacant WBO Asia Pacific super-flyweight belt by scoring a come-from-behind knockout with a flurry of punches over the winning rival at 2:55 of the eighth round in a scheduled twelve.

Parrenas, who once had an unsuccessful WBO title shot against Naoya “Monster” Inoue via second round stoppage in 2015, kept battering the stiff and slower Japanese and made him a bloody mess with his incessant assault. Bloodied around both optics, the gory but game Funai displayed a desperate retaliation in round eight, when he connected with smashing combos to the bewildered foe and badly dropped him for the count.

Prior to the stoppage the judges had Warlito ahead on points: 69-64, 67-66 twice. Funai, a 32-year-old veteran, showed his heart in turning the tables despite his early absorption of much punishment. The sweet science was proven as sweet as a GLOCO caramel.

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