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19 FEBRUARY 2018

Where am I? Home Fight Reports
 

Inoue and Shiro Retain Titles in Japan




By Derek Bonnett

 

At Bunka Gym, Yokohama, Konagawa, Japan, the ceremonial end of the year boxing festivities got underway with a pair or world title bouts featuring Naoya Inoue at super flyweight and Ken Shiro at light flyweight. With fellow world champions Daigo Higa and Ryota Murata ringside, Japanese fans had a staunch reminder of what a great year was produced by the home fighters.

 

Naoya "Monster" Inoue, the premiere boxer in Japan today, defended his WBO title for the seventh time against Yoan Boyeaux of France in the main event. Boyeaux’s resume lacked salient victories at the world class level, but the super flyweight had not lost a bout since 2012. Inoue, 24, started slowly while Boyeaux boxed and moved well, but clearly had nothing to worry Inoue. Inoue backed the Frenchman up whenever he threw, but he was patient. In the closing seconds of the first round, Inoue dropped Boyeaux hard with an overhand left over his guard while the challenger moved to his back foot. Boyeaux survived and recovered between rounds, but the bout could have ended there. Inoue controlled the action in the second, but the French boxer fought bravely and tried to turn the tide. Inoue was very compact with his shots and still economic in round three. Three knockdowns from three separate left hooks to the body ended the night for Boyeaux as he was never able to recover.

 

The bout officially ended at 1:40 of round three. Inoue notched his seventh title defense and improved his record to 15-0-0 (13). Boyeaux sank to 41-5-0 (26).

 

Ken Shiro, 25, defended his WBC 108-pound title with a fourth round TKO of Gilberto Pedroza. Over the course of the first round, Pedroza,25, pressed the action and landed the better shots. Per usual, Shiro got all the home turf cheers. Pedroza’s right hand started finding it’s mark near the end of the frame. A close round followed as Pedroza did a lot of following. Good body work was exhibited by Shiro early. The champion improved with a two-fisted attack in round three. Pedroza threw a lot less and began to hold, making a shift from an offensive mindset to a defensive one. Shiro hurt Pedroza with right and then later dropped the challenger with a left to the boy and two follow-up rights. Shiro upped the pace and finished his foe with a similar barrage and second knockdown. The official time of the stoppage was the 1:12 mark.

 

Shiro retained his title for the second time, previously winning majority decisions over Mexicans Ganigan Lopez and Pedro Guevara in his most recent bouts.Shiro upped his record to 12-0-0 (6). Pedroza crashed to 18-4-2 (8).

 

Also on the card, Takuma Inoue, 22, ran his record to 10-0-0 (2) with a ten round unanimous decision over Kentaro Masuda. Inoue won by margins of 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94 in the super bantamweight bout.

 




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