By Joe Koizumi
Photos: Naoki Fukuda
“Monster” Naoya Inoue’s cousin, only once-beaten Koki Inoue (17-1, 14 KOs), 140, acquired the vacant WBO Asia Pacific junior welterweight belt as he withstood the furious attacks of Abdurasul Ismoilov (10-2, 6 KOs), 140, from Uzbekistan, and finally turned the tables with three knockdowns to score a fine TKO victory at 2:11 of the tenth round in a scheduled twelve on Wednesday in Tokyo, Japan.
It was a technically competitive contest, but the more skillful Ismoilov connected with accurate left hooks to the taller Japanese southpaw. The eighth saw Ismoilov batter Inoue from pillar to post to have him in great trouble, but Koki showed an incredible retaliation from the next round on. He decked the fading Ismoilov on three occasions to have the referee Fukuchi finally declare a well-received halt. Before the stoppage, the Uzbekistani was leading on points: 88-85, 87-84 both for him, but another judge had it 87-84 for Inoue.
Promoter: Ohashi Promotions.