By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten Japanese bright flyweight prospect Taku Kuwahara (6-0, 4 KOs), formerly an amateur star over 68 contests at 112.5, impressively decked an important victory by shutting out WBC#13 Filipino southpaw Jonathan Refujio (21-7-5, 7 KOs), 110.25, by an upset lopsided decision (all 80-71) over eight fast-moving rounds on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Kuwahara, a stablemate of Naoya “Monster” Inoue in Ohashi Gym, kept stalking the circling counterpuncher all the way, steadily piling up points. Taku, 24, caught the occasional swinger with a countering right and floored him to the deck in the closing seconds of the seventh round. His manager and ex-WBC/WBA 105-pound ruler Hideyuki Ohashi strongly instructed him to finish and bring home the bacon in the final session, but Refujio refused to go down again with his determination and durability.
Hard-punching featherweight Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-4-2, 19 KOs), 128, kept battering Filipino Joe Tejones (13-7, 7 KOs), 127.25, from pillar to post and finally disposed of him for the count with a furious combination at 2:08 of the fifth round in a supporting eight.