By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Upcoming Japanese lightweight champ Shuichiro Yoshino (8-0, 6 KOs), 135, impressively retained his national belt when he outjabbed JBC#7 Genki Maeda (6-3-1, 2 KOs), 134.75, decked him twice with solid shots and chalked up a fine knockout at 2:49 of the ninth round in a scheduled ten-round main event of the tripleheader in Tokyo on Thursday.
Yoshino, whose amateur mark was 104-20 with 55 stoppages, acquired the national 135-pound belt in his sixth pro bout by halting more experienced Spicy Matsushita last October.
The fleet-footed graduate of Tokyo Agricultural Univ., Yoshino, 26, showed his intelligence in swapping punches with the taller challenger, who also had an amateur record of 38-18, 9 stoppages, piling up points with ease.
The champ decked the game challenger with a right cross in round three, swept all rounds and finally sank the damaged challenger with a stinging left following a solid right to the face. Maeda barely regained his feet only to be counted out by the referee Asao. Should he have good durability, the 5’11” boxer-puncher Yoshino may have a bright future.