Earlier today in Hiroshima fight fans saw OPBF Light Flyweight champion Edward Heno (14-0-5, 5) successfully defending his title, and seeming send Japanese veteran Koji Itagaki (18-14-3, 7) [板垣幸司] into retirement.
The talented Heno, who won the title in Japan back in September 2017, dictated the distance from early on. He made the most of his southpaw jab in the opening stages and avoided Itagaki's left hooks. The speed, accuracy and timing of Heno was far too good for Itagaki to cope with, with the challenger not really having any success until round 4.
When the scores were first announced publicly Heno was leading 40-36 and 39-37, twice.
When Itagaki did put his foot on the gas he had success, but nothing sustained with Heno always doing more than enough to be competitive, even in rounds where Itagaki gave everything. What didn't help Itagakoi was the fact he was dropped in round 7, killing any momentum he started to build. By the end of the 8th round Heno was up 80-71 and 78-73, twice. With such a huge lead after 8 rounds Heno could have relaxed, lost all 4 of the final rounds and still been a comfortable winner. Instead he would actually score two knockdowns in the final round, against a tiring Itagaki to secure a 10-7 round.
After 12 rounds Heno got the decision with scores of 119-106, an 117-108, twice.
After the bout Itagaki hinted that this would be the end. Heno praised the challenger's toughness, but the reality is that Itagaki's toughness was the only thing keeping him in the contest, which was incredibly one-sided.
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