Saka halts Koibuchi, regains Japanese 130lb belt

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By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda

If both are brittle-chinned hard-punchers, it will become such a fight like this. The tide busily turning almost in every round, it was a see-saw bout with each almost stunning the rival each other. Former champ Kosuke Saka (23-7, 20 KOs), 130, regained the Japanese super feather belt as he finally emerged victorious via TKO route over badly-bleeding Ken Koibuchi (10-7-1, 9 KOs), 130, at 0:44 of the fifth round in a scheduled ten on Friday in Tokyo, Japan.

Saka, whose all thirty fights resulted in 25 knockouts—wins or losses, had forfeited his national belt to Yoshimitsu Kimura by a third-round stoppage in December 2021, and was slated to have a shot at his conqueror Kimura to regain his title last December. Kimura, however, didn’t appear at the weigh-in because he couldn’t make weight to be suspended for a year and their rematch was off.

Saka, a veteran two-division national titlist, this night faced JBC#6 Koibuchi, s Stanley Ketchel swinger, in quest of the vacant belt. Each absorbed much punishment from the opposition, bleeding through the give-and-take affair. Koibuchi sustained a bad gash at the left side of the skull from the second on, and it became worse as it progressed. Saka, unlike his usual free-swinging style, kept jabbing the less skillful swinger to have the upper hand, and the ref had Koibuchi examined by the ring physician three times and finally declared a TKO against the nasty bleeder.

BoxRec: Kosuke Saka

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Unbeaten super feather prospect Toshihiro Suzuki (5-0, 4 KOs), 130, sank Filipino John Lawrence Ordonio (9-6-1, 5 KOs), 128.5, with a haymaker of a single body shot at 2:52 of the first round in a semi-final eight. Toshihiro is the younger brother of Masahiro (10-1, 7 KOs), who lately acquired the vacant OPBF lightweight belt last month.

Promoter: Shisei Promotions.


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