Maruta halts WBC#9 Sagawa, wins Japanese 126lb belt


By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Elongated Japanese prospect, JBC#1 Hinata Maruta (11-1-1, 9 KOs), 125.5, impressively dethroned WBC#9/IBF#11 national feather champ Ryo Sagawa (10-2, 5 KOs), 125.25, by a fine TKO victory at 2:57 of the seventh session on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan. Sagawa, making his third defense, took a very solid right and almost lost his equilibrium just before the bell to end the third, which obviously hurt him physically and mentally in following rounds. After the fifth, the open scoring system showed the challenger Maruta leading on points: 49-46 twice, 48-47. Sagawa, formerly a university boxer, fought back hard in the sixth, but Maruta, in round seven, caught him with his favorite right, dropping him on the deck. His follow-up combinations decked the champ again at the referee Fukuchi’s intervention. Standing at 5’9.5”, Maruta, 23, looks promising and talented.

Unbeaten ex-amateur prospect Yudai Shigeoka (3-0, 2 KOs), 107.5, acquired the vacant Japanese youth light flyweight belt when he dispatched Ryu Horikawa (3-1-1, 1 KO), 108, at 2:42 of the fifth round in a scheduled eight. The talented southpaw Yudai, 23, is the elder brother of WBO Asia Pacific 105-pound champ Ginjiro Shigeoka, whose amateur mark was so excellent as 56-1. Ginjiro’s sole defeat was inflicted by his brother, two years his senior, as a towel was tossed in at the beginning of the contest (reportedly a final of a local tournament)—without actually boxing between the brothers.

Promoter: Misako Promotions.

Attendance: 770 (with the JBC’s regulation at the Korakuen Hall).

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