By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Unbeaten novice JBC#5 Masahiro Suzuki (6-0, 4 KOs), 140, scored a stunning upset as he captured the Japanese super-lightweight belt by a dramatic stoppage over defending champ Daishi Nagata (15-3-2, 6 KOs), 140, at 2:09 of the tenth and final round on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.
Game and gallant Nagata failed to make his second defense since he dethroned Koki Inoue, Monster Naoya’s cousin, via seventh round halt last July.
The southpaw champ, from the outset, tried to mix it up and overwhelm the less experienced challenger, who, however, responded with more accurate effective counters to the face and midsection. After the fifth, the interim tallies were announced: 49-46 twice, 50-45, all in favor of the 25-year-old youngster.
Nagata, 31, went forward to turn the tide and had the novice at bay with a body bombardment in round seven. But it was the younger Suzuki that displayed a last surge and battered the champ so badly that Nagata’s cornerman wisely signaled a surrender to save him from further punishment.
Nagata might have been too excessively evaluated due to his coronation at the expense of Koki Inoue (whose defeat made him decide to hang up gloves for good), so he had been a prohibitive favorite logically prior to the bout. But such an upset happened.
Promoter: Misako Promotions.
Attendance: 736 (with the JBC’s regulation at the Korakuen Hall).