The bout saw Kono trying to fight behind a high guard and going to the body early on. It was a gameplan that seemed to be based on coming on styrong late on, whilst making Yap work hard. It failed to win the judges over early on, with two judges having Yap in the lead after 4 rounds, whilst the third judge had the bout even.
In the middle rounds the pace picked up, with Yap landing some big right hands whilst Kono pressed more aggressively, and it was clear the bout was warming up with both men moving through the gears. Despite the changes in both mens out put there was no real change in the judges, which had Yap leading on two cards after 8 rounds, and a draw on the third card.
The fight continued to be competitive until round 10, when a left hook to the body from Yap crumpled Kono to the canvas. The challenger go up but was clearly in pain and a follow up from Yap sent him down again, this time for the count.
For Kono the loss is his third stoppage defeat and ends a 4 fight winning run. For Yap the win is a 4th straight stoppage and a 9th straight win, as he continues working his way towards a potential world title fight.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)