IBF #10 Abe defeats unbeaten Sasaki

Ishikawa tests positive to have semi-final canceled

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

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IBF#10 featherweight, Japanese southpaw Reiya Abe (20-3-1, 9 KOs), 127, had a tough time coping with previously unbeaten JBC#7 Ren Sasaki (10-1, 6 KOs), 126.5, but showed his ring experience in winning a unanimous nod (78-74 twice, 77-75) over eight speedy rounds on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan. It was an affair of the fast-moving southpaws. Reiya, who once entered the world top ten by upsetting then highly ranked compatriot Satoru Hosono in October 2017, failed to win the national 126-pound belt twice in a row since he battled to a grueling draw with defending champ Taiki Minamoto and lost to fast-rising Ryo Sagawa in a title bout for the vacant belt because of Taiki’s relinquishment. Abe, a good speedster, needs to improve his power.

Bantamweight Haruki Ishikawa, who was slated to fight JBC#7 Kai Chiba in the semi-final of this show, had tested positive after the PCR test of the previous day, and it was abruptly canceled. The JBC says it is the very first cancellation due to the COVID-19 infection since it allowed boxing shows to resume from July 12 on. All the other participants tested again on the morning of the fight day, and all fortunately tested negative, so the promotion went on as scheduled.

Attendance: 520 (on the JBC’s regulation at the Korakuen Hall)

Promoter: Yokohama Hikari Promotions.

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