By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Game and gallant Filipino Richard Pumicpic (20-8-2, 6 KOs), 125.5, impressively acquired the vacant WBO Asia Pacific featherweight belt as he pounded out a unanimous decision (117-111, 115-112, 115-113) over former world challenger Hisashi Amagasa (33-7-2, 21 KOs), 126, over twelve lopsided rounds on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. The 5’4” Filipino kept boring in and battering the much taller Japanese by seven inches nearly all the way, steadily piling up points.
The lanky Japanese once had an ambitious crack at the WBA 122-pound belt against Guillermo Rigondeaux, dropping the champ twice despite his eventual TKO defeat in 2014.
What happened Amagasa? He didn’t show any of his usual zip and strength, absorbing much punishment by the jolting attacks of the energetic Filipino whose stamina looked abundant and whose fighting spirit was unlimited. Amagasa retaliated just in rounds four and eight, and this reporter tallied 118-110 for Pumicpic.
Amagasa announced he would hang up gloves for good after this bad defeat. He might have stayed in the 126-pound category too long and should have moved up to the higher class earlier. It’s a sad swan song for the ex-world challenger.