By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Up-and-coming Japanese featherweight champ WBC#8/IBF#13 Ryo Sagawa (10-1, 5 KOs), 126, impressively kept his national belt when he caught up with #9 southpaw Yuri Takemoto (8-2-1, 4 KOs), 126, the winner of last year’s Novice King tournament, and finished him at 3:09 of the sixth round in a scheduled ten on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.
Sagawa, making his second defense, had the upper hand, leading on points after the fifth on open scoring system: 48-47 twice, 49-46. The sixth witnessed Sagawa, formerly an amateur star, accelerate his attack to hurt him with vicious body shots, dropping him for the count. Zooming up by upsetting ex-world challenger Ryo Matsumoto via TKO route in 2018, Sagawa again upset then world-rated Reiya Abe on points to acquire the vacant national belt last September. Sagawa, two years his senior at 26, is a sharpshooter with speed and skills to be highly expected.
Attendance: 385 (under the JBC’s social distancing regulation at the Korakuen Hall)
Promoter: Misako Promotions