By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
WBC #11 Japanese 122-pound champ Yusaku Kuga (19-3-1, 13 KOs), 121.75, impressively retained his national 122-pound belt as he needed just 95 seconds into the opening session to dispatch JBC#3 Yosuke Fujiwara (18-7, 5 KOs), 121.5, on Saturday in Tokyo, Japan.
Having forfeited his national belt to lefty speedster Shingo Wake on a tenth and final round stoppage in July of the previous year, Kuga regained his belt after his conqueror’s relinquishment. The sturdy and muscular hard-puncher Yusaku decked the victim with a looping left hook and floored him again with a vicious right. Though Fujiwara, four years his senior at 32, wobblingly stood up to resume fighting, the ref Yoshida declared a well-timed halt to save the loser.