By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten Japanese prospect, WBO#9 Hiroki Okada (17-0, 12 KOs), 140, very impressively acquired the vacant WBO Asia Pacific 140-pound belt when he kept throwing stinging lefts to the face of WBO#8 Filipino Jason Pagara (40-3-1, 25 KOs), 142.5, and Pagara abruptly turned his back for surrender at 0:59 of the sixth round in a scheduled twelve on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Pagara, a bright prospect from Cebu, had failed to make the junior welter limit by two pounds and a half, and didn’t seem to be in best shape, but Okada’s Larry Holmes-like jabs were obviously effective enough to hurt the loser. Before he quit going on midway in the fatal session, all the judges had it 50-45 in Okada’s favor.
Okada previously retained his Japanese national 140-pound belt on six occasions to his credit prior to his relinquishment to aim at the world belt. In this direction Okada’s acquisition of the WBO ASPAC championship may be meaningful by defeating previously highly world-rated Pagara in such a brilliant fashion.
Unbeaten ex-amateur flyweight prospect Ryota Yamauchi (2-0, 2 KOs), 112, stunned the audience when he dispatched OPBF#5 ranked Philippine light-flyweight ruler Lester Abutan (12-7-3, 6 KOs), 111.25, at 2:26 of the fourth session in a scheduled six. The lanky footworker averted Abutan’s opening attacks and connected with solid combinations to down him in the second, and finally halted him after badly dropping him with a smashing right. Yamauchi, a 22-year-old graduate of Tokyo Agricultural University, looked very promising.