Matsumoto beats Maeda, keeps Japan’s 126lb belt

Matsumoto Maeda02 1

By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Unbeaten IBF#13 Keisuke Matsumoto (10-0, 7 KOs), 126, barely kept his Japanese featherweight belt as he survived a last-round visit to the canvas and eked out a unanimous decision (all 96-92) over JBC#1 Jinki Maeda (13-2, 8 KOs), 125.5, over ten see-saw heats on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.

The shaven skulled champ Keisuke, the son of former three-time world challenger and now his trainer Koji Matsumoto, utilized his hand speed and quick reflexes, comfortably piling up points almost in every round. He finely sent him to the deck with an eye-catching left-right combination to the southpaw ex-kick boxing champ in the fourth.

Maeda, whose left optic was badly puffed with his absorption of the champ’s sharp combinations, showed his determination as he turned loose and displayed an incredible last surge. Jinki decked the champ with a southpaw left and had him at bay with the bell coming to his rescue.

This fight may be a good candidate for Fight of the Year in the domestic category with each hitting the deck in dramatic fashion.

Promoter: Ohashi Promotions.


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