Amagasa, who won the belt last year with a minor upset victory over former world champion Ryol Li Lee, towered over Rufino and made sure to make the most of his advantages in height and reach as he tagged Rufino coming in. The Filipino, who fights in just one way, was bringing the pressure though kept walking in to well timed and excellently placed counters which helped put him down.
Rufino, to his credit, got up from the knock down and continued to bring the action though the fact he kept getting countered was slowly taking it's toll on the brave Filipino.
With Rufino being softened up Amagasa exploded in to action and continued to grind down Rufino, this time with a vicious streak in his work which eventually forced the referee to call a halt to proceedings with Amagasa really taking punishment.
This was Amagasa's first stoppage victory in title fights since he won the Japanese national title in December 2011 and just his third stoppage in 7 fights, what was remarkable about this one however is that Rufino is a proven tough guy who had only been stopped once in the last 6 years.
Ranked by the WBC, WBO and IBF Amagasa will be looking towards working to a world title fight later this year. With a performance like this one against a determined opponent the Southpaw may well find himself being boosted up the rankings and moved into a position to challenger one of the champions, such as Jhonny Gonzalez or Evgeny Gradovich.
(Photo courtesy of boxingnews.jp)